Don’t worry folks, I did the dirty work for you. I have been dying to see just how well the Texas and Independent artists stack up against the mainstream Top 40 with Spotify Followers. Sure, it doesn’t tell the whole story, but let’s face it. Spotify is here to stay and it is an incredible way to find new music. Let’s see what the numbers look like.
I looked over Bob Kingsley’s Top 40 chart for the most Recent week (Week of December 3rd) and went to every artist’s Spotify that I could find. I then collected all of the Texas artists I view as “big” names (certainly may have missed a few) and then went down the Top 40 Texas Regional Radio Chart and found all of their follower counts on Spotify. Some I could not find on Spotify which goes to show you how small some of these artists/bands really are. It’s a pretty interesting list and it shows the vast separation from some of the largest names in Texas to the new-bees. Take a look at how Flatland Calvary, Koe Wetzel and, Parker McCollum have taken off. It’s impressive. But despite all of that success, look at how much of a gap there is when compared to even the lower mainstream side. Take note at the massive lead FGL has. I guarantee that is because they appeal to a massive amount of pop music fans and the younger generation that doesn’t know what real country sounds like.
What this tells me, is that there is still value in mainstream radio to be used as a platform. I would love to be a DJ at a northeast independent country station because I could spread the music I love from all the way up here. Unfortunately, most radio stations play the same 11 songs all day with some proven classics which most indie stations shy away from. There’s something to be said for having constant attention on the same songs and as a result, more ears hear the artists name, their songs, and new fans are born.
You can see what is happening with Aaron Watson right now. Jason Isbell is impressive doing this without radio’s help, but AW has continued to take off with the mainstream radio exposure. You hear his name mentioned in commercials, they play his song, and even Bob Kingsley has spun other Texas music like Pat Green on the Top 40 countdown when he updates Aaron’s weekly chart position. It’s solid continued growth that reaches across all aspects of social media. 2017 (as I predicted this time last year) was a big year for Aaron. And I believe that this is just the start.
One thing I would like to know, is how these two categories compare with album sales. I know I buy the indie albums and people like me are incredibly passionate about supporting the “little guys and gals.” We know our money is going to help their career, put gas in the tank, and help them overall. With the big superstars, it’s not as clear and like in a big company, there are a lot of mouths and outstretched hands to feed. I enjoy the personal touches myself. It’s something money just can’t buy in my opinion.
Just thought this was an interesting chart to share.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!