YouTube’s global importance is no secret, but its playlist stats tend to go under the radar, as most people think of it more as a video streaming platform than an audio streaming platform. When it comes to international audio consumption, however, YouTube is undoubtedly No. 1, so you'll likely want to start thinking about incorporating YouTube into your digital strategy.
One way you can do this is by tracking YouTube playlists as part of your daily routine and thinking about YouTube as another platform through which to market your music. And that makes understanding the data and breadth of YouTube playlists essential.
While there are surely an innumerable amount of user-created YouTube playlists with a music focus, there are almost 800 music playlists created by curators, including YouTube itself, that we can sort by total playlist views, number of tracks, 28-day add ratio, and last update date.
As it stands now, Top 50 This Week & Top 100 Songs 2020 (Best New Music Hits Playlist) is at No. 1 with almost 1.7B Views, Popular Music Videos is at No. 2 with just about 1B Views, and Pop Music Playlist - Timeless Pop Songs (Updated Weekly 2020) is at No. 3 with just under 1B Views.
Each of these playlists has a 100 percent 28-day add ratio, meaning each is totally refreshed each month, and importantly, at around 100 tracks, each is also fairly lengthy.
As is to be expected, the Top 2 playlists are heavily weighted with Pop, Hip-Hop, and Rap artists from the United States — think Maroon 5, Selena Gomez, Lil Baby, and Nicki Minaj — but R&B, Latin, and Reggaeton aren’t too far behind.
Where things get a bit more interesting are with YouTube's Hotlists, including the Latin Hotlist at No. 7, the Hip-Hop and R&B Hotlist at No. 9, the Country Hotlist at No. 12, the Brazil Hotlist at No. 14, and the Regional Mexican Hotlist at No. 7. While each of those has a fraction of what the top Pop playlists have, they're also likely to be a bit easier to land (though still not by any means easy).
You can get even further into the weeds with YouTube's genre-specific playlists, which are much smaller in terms of view count and length, but there's far more differentiation and opportunity there. However, the track distribution of non-geo-specific playlists is still decidedly American.
With such a global platform, you might expect to see less American representation and more international representation, but even if American content is hogging the YouTube music playlist mainstream, the global community is likely forcing it to the top.
If you want to check out artist genre and/or geographic distribution for any of these YouTube playlists, go wild with a free Chartmetric account! And if you can't get enough music data, check out our podcast, How Music Charts.