2011 State of
Online Music

Next Big Sound measures daily music consumption and purchase decisions around the globe, and makes it all available in a single dashboard. From Facebook fans to physical sales, Next Big Sound combines artist metrics with context to inform decisions in the modern music industry.

The 2011 State of Online Music report includes major trends and highlights from 2011: overall consumption numbers, top networks and their most popular artists and days, the top 50 artists of 2011, as well as artists that progressed from our predictive Next Big Sound chart to our popularity leaderboard, the Social 50.

Jump to the bottom to read more about our methodology and to download a free PDF of Next Big Sound's 2011 State of Online music report.

Total Online Activity

The aggregate number of song & video plays, fans, and profile views across all networks tracked by Next Big Sound this past year.

Plays

New 64,876,491,602

Fans

New 3,433,149,332

Views

New 16,182,060,299

Top 5 Artists

  1. 1 Foo Fighters Sony
  2. 2 DJ Bl3nd unsigned
  3. 3 Beastie Boys EMI
  4. 4 The Weeknd XO
  5. 5 The White Panda unsigned
231 Percent Growth

Breakdown by Day

  • 12.55%
  • 14.44%
  • 15.46%
  • 15.09%
  • 15.25%
  • 14.42%
  • 12.76%

Top 5 Artists

  1. 1 Lady Gaga Universal
  2. 2 Justin Bieber Universal
  3. 3 Rihanna Universal
  4. 4 Katy Perry EMI
  5. 5 Shakira Sony
104 Percent Growth

Breakdown by Day

  • 14.3%
  • 14.3%
  • 14.59%
  • 14.82%
  • 14.38%
  • 13.97%
  • 13.59%

Top 5 Artists

  1. 1 Pitbull Sony
  2. 2 Rihanna Universal
  3. 3 Justin Bieber Universal
  4. 4 Lil' Wayne Universal
  5. 5 Eminem Universal
97 Percent Growth

Breakdown by Day

  • 12.64%
  • 13.13%
  • 14.47%
  • 15.05%
  • 15.89%
  • 14.84%
  • 13.94%

Top 5 Artists

  1. 1 Rihanna Universal
  2. 2 Shakira Sony
  3. 3 Eminem Universal
  4. 4 Justin Bieber Universal
  5. 5 Katy Perry EMI
96 Percent Growth

Breakdown by Day

  • 13.59%
  • 14.16%
  • 14.22%
  • 14.21%
  • 15.29%
  • 14.55%
  • 13.95%

Top 5 Artists

  1. 1 David Guetta EMI
  2. 2 Linkin Park Warner
  3. 3 Jason Derulo Warner
  4. 4 Skrillex Warner
  5. 5 Flo Rida Warner
62 Percent Growth

Breakdown by Day

  • 14.36%
  • 12.76%
  • 13.3%
  • 13.61%
  • 14.37%
  • 15.55%
  • 16.01%

Top 5 Artists

  1. 1 Eminem Universal
  2. 2 Adele Sony
  3. 3 Lady Gaga Universal
  4. 4 Justin Bieber Universal
  5. 5 Akon Universal
6 Percent Growth

Breakdown by Day

  • 13.46%
  • 14.66%
  • 14.83%
  • 14.51%
  • 14.85%
  • 14.21%
  • 13.45%

Top 5 Artists

  1. 1 Justin Bieber Universal
  2. 2 Lady Gaga Universal
  3. 3 Selena Gomez Sony
  4. 4 Amy Winehouse Universal
  5. 5 Eminem Universal

9.7 billion page views tracked in 2011

Breakdown by Day

  • 14.01%
  • 14.85%
  • 14.76%
  • 14.69%
  • 14.68%
  • 13.77%
  • 13.19%

The Social 50

The 50 most popular artists on the internet in 2011 across all major social music sites. See the weekly Social 50 chart Next Big Sound publishes in collaboration with Billboard Magazine for this week's most popular artists. An artist with a * next to their name was an early Next Big Sound prediction of success.

More about our Methodology
  1. Justin Bieber Peak Position: 1 Label: Universal
  2. Lady Gaga Peak Position: 1 Label: Universal
  3. Rihanna Peak Position: 1 Label: Universal
  4. Shakira Peak Position: 2 Label: Sony
  5. Eminem Peak Position: 2 Label: Universal
  6. Katy Perry Peak Position: 2 Label: EMI
  7. Adele Peak Position: 2 Label: Sony
  8. Akon Peak Position: 2 Label: Universal
  9. Michael Jackson Peak Position: 3 Label: Sony
  10. Nicki Minaj Peak Position: 4 Label: Universal
  1. Selena Gomez Peak Position: 1 Label: Sony
  2. Taylor Swift Peak Position: 7 Label: Universal
  3. David Guetta Peak Position: 6 Label: EMI
  4. Lil' Wayne Peak Position: 4 Label: Universal
  5. Pitbull Peak Position: 4 Label: Sony
  6. Avril Lavigne Peak Position: 8 Label: Sony
  7. Linkin Park Peak Position: 7 Label: Warner
  8. Chris Brown Peak Position: 8 Label: Sony
  9. LMFAO Peak Position: 3 Label: Universal
  10. Beyoncé Peak Position: 7 Label: Sony
  1. Black Eyed Peas Peak Position: 1 Label: Universal
  2. Britney Spears Peak Position: 7 Label: Sony
  3. Don Omar Peak Position: 2 Label: Sony
  4. Usher Peak Position: 4 Label: Sony
  5. Wiz Khalifa Peak Position: 11 Label: Warner
  6. Drake Peak Position: 12 Label: Universal
  7. Bruno Mars Peak Position: 9 Label: Warner
  8. Christina Grimmie * Peak Position: 14 Label: Unsigned
  9. Enrique Iglesias Peak Position: 7 Label: Universal
  10. Coldplay Peak Position: 9 Label: EMI
  1. Ludacris Peak Position: 6 Label: Universal
  2. 50 Cent Peak Position: 15 Label: Sony
  3. Jennifer Lopez Peak Position: 14 Label: Sony
  4. Skrillex * Peak Position: 9 Label: Warner
  5. Boyce Avenue * Peak Position: 8 Label: Universal
  6. Tiesto Peak Position: 22 Label: EMI
  7. Snoop Dogg Peak Position: 19 Label: EMI
  8. Bob Marley Peak Position: 8 Label: Multiple
  9. Ke$ha Peak Position: 8 Label: Sony
  10. Demi Lovato Peak Position: 14 Label: Universal
  1. Justin Timberlake Peak Position: 19 Label: Sony
  2. Tyler Ward * Peak Position: 14 Label: Sony
  3. Red Hot Chili Peppers Peak Position: 5 Label: Warner
  4. Deadmau5 Peak Position: 10 Label: EMI
  5. Green Day Peak Position: 18 Label: Warner
  6. Kanye West Peak Position: 18 Label: Universal
  7. Cody Simpson Peak Position: 20 Label: Warner
  8. P!nk Peak Position: 23 Label: Sony
  9. Rebecca Black Peak Position: 9 Label: RB Records
  10. The Cimorellis * Peak Position: 27 Label: Universal

The Big Sounds of 2011

Artists that progressed from the predictive Next Big Sound chart, the fastest accelerating artists across the Internet, to our popularity leaderboard, the Social 50 chart, ordered by the length of time between chart debut dates in decreasing order.

  1. NERO NBS Debut: 12.09.10 Social 50 Debut: 11.03.11
  2. Mindless Behavior NBS Debut: 12.30.10 Social 50 Debut: 10.13.11
  3. Veronica Ballestrini NBS Debut: 02.03.11 Social 50 Debut: 11.17.11
  4. The Cimorellis NBS Debut: 12.16.10 Social 50 Debut: 08.04.11
  5. OUTASIGHT NBS Debut: 04.28.11 Social 50 Debut: 12.15.11
  1. Skrillex NBS Debut: 11.11.10 Social 50 Debut: 06.16.11
  2. Paul Kalkbrenner NBS Debut: 12.16.10 Social 50 Debut: 07.07.11
  3. Maddi Jane NBS Debut: 01.20.11 Social 50 Debut: 07.07.11
  4. One Direction NBS Debut: 06.09.11 Social 50 Debut: 11.17.11
  5. Tiffany Alvord NBS Debut: 03.31.11 Social 50 Debut: 08.04.11
  1. Wonder Girls NBS Debut: 07.14.11 Social 50 Debut: 11.17.11
  2. George Watsky NBS Debut: 04.28.11 Social 50 Debut: 08.25.11
  3. Mac Miller NBS Debut: 04.21.11 Social 50 Debut: 07.14.11
  4. 2PM NBS Debut: 04.21.11 Social 50 Debut: 06.30.11
  5. Karmin NBS Debut: 06.09.11 Social 50 Debut: 08.11.11
  1. Jessie J. NBS Debut: 01.06.11 Social 50 Debut: 02.24.11
  2. Boyce Avenue NBS Debut: 12.02.10 Social 50 Debut: 01.20.11
  3. Christina Grimmie NBS Debut: 11.25.10 Social 50 Debut: 01.06.11
  4. Kreayshawn NBS Debut: 06.23.11 Social 50 Debut: 08.04.11
  5. Tyler Ward NBS Debut: 12.02.10 Social 50 Debut: 01.06.11
  1. DJ Bl3nd NBS Debut: 12.09.10 Social 50 Debut: 01.06.11
  2. DeStorm Power NBS Debut: 07.14.11 Social 50 Debut: 08.04.11
  3. Alex Day NBS Debut: 12.22.11 Social 50 Debut: 12.29.11

Our Methodology

Percent Growth

The percent growth value for each network is the growth of the metric for artist profiles we track. Call the total number of Facebook fans on January 1st "X", and call the total number of Facebook fans on December 31st "Y". Then the percent growth of Facebook fans is (Y - X)/X. X and Y are calculated by summing up the total values on those days for each artist for whom we have data for the beginning and end of 2011. If data collection started or stopped for a profile during 2011, it is not considered in the network level sum on either of those days. Because the values used to calculate the growth percentage are necessarily totals, a value cannot be provided for Wikipedia, as the lifetime page view totals for are not available.

Breakdown by Day

For a single artist, the breakdown by day would be calculated as the normalized averages of the number of fans, plays, or views that that artist accrued on each day of the week. The values for each day of the week are averages because there are different numbers of each day in the year (365 is not divisible by 7). The values are normalized afterwards so that they can be expressed as percentages. The percentages shown in the report are the averages across all artists for whom we have data for that metric for the entirety of 2011. If data collection started or stopped for a profile during 2011, it is not considered in the network level average.

Social 50

On any given week, the Social 50 is calculated by producing a composite artist score based on a combination of the metrics in the days leading up to the chart. The actual combination method is proprietary. The 2011 Social 50 chart is produced by summing up the composite scores for each artist on each week in 2011. The results are the top 50 ordered by 2011 aggregate composite scores. The peak position is the highest position at which an artist has ever appeared on the weekly Social 50 chart published in Billboard magazine prior to 2012.

VEVO versus YouTube

It is important to note the distinction between VEVO and YouTube. The play counts on VEVO are an aggregation of all of the plays of VEVO content syndicated across the web, which includes the VEVO channels on YouTube as well as many other sites. For this reason, we do not consider any VEVO channel on YouTube as a YouTube play, but rather a VEVO one. This choice prevents double counting when aggregating values across networks for a single artist, but also means that no VEVO channels were considered for the "Top 5 Artists" on YouTube.

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Next Big Sound's 2011 State of
Online Music report.

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