I posted this data on another thread but thought it worthy of it’s own.
Below are the total streaming numbers for R.E.M’s entire catalogue, collated in Sept 2021 (click on the image below and zoom in to read).
At first glance, as well as being very impressive, there doesn’t seem to be too much thats particularly surprising. Looking at totals for each album, you see on the face of it, it broadly reflects both album sales and the trajectory of REMs career. Its also no surprise that their singles are the most played from each album.
Upon looking into the numbers further though, I did notice something that surprised me. It seems that Reveal could be REMs least listened to album.
On the face of it, it seems healthy. Reveals album tracks have cumulatively been listened to over 46 million times on Spotify, which is way more than the totals of the 3 albums that followed. So far, unsurprising.
But, over 35 million of those plays comes from just Imitation of Life, which if removed leaves just over 11 million cumulative plays of the rest of the album tracks.
But how many times has Reveal been listened to as an album, start to finish? Well, there’s no exact science here and obviously with streaming, listening habits have changed to single tracks. That said, you can see the maximum amount of times the album could have been streamed from start to finish simply by looking at the track that has the least number of listens.
In Reveals case, it’s Beachball with just 358,000 streams, the least streamed song from their 15 albums. So, you can also say that Reveal can only have been streamed in its entirety 358k times at most. In comparison ATS could’ve been listened to in its entirety a maximum of 529k times based on High Speed Train and CiN 947k times based on Me, Marlon Brando.
So, does this mean that Reveal is REM’s least popular album to listen to start to finish? Are there any other observations or surprises from this data? Is this interesting or incredibly boring?
*I’ve gone purely by Spotify numbers in the first column as its the most popular platform and the cumulative and Youtube numbers correlate.