How do I read the region profile pictures?

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Regional Profile

There are a number of pages where a "regional profile" has been included. These indicate how the data shown on a page relates to geographic regions, for example on an artist's song page they show how well that artist has done in the various song charts round the world. The key template is shown above, showing the nine regions displayed. Locations where the artist has had no success fade the flags to a grey colour. So for example the Abba songs had great success in Europe, some in the US and none in Japan.

The regions defined are the USA (7 squares), Japan (3 squares), UK (2 squares), Germany, France, North Europe, South Europe, other English Speaking and the Rest of the World. An explanation of why these regions have been selected (and why the sizes were set to these ratios) is given later in this page. On this page we show the results for artist songs, artist albums and song titles. We also have done some comparisons of these results across regions to show how they relate to each other.

Artist Song Success

The pictures in this section show the song based success of different artists, the numbers are based on unadjusted scores which means that modern acts are over represented. In addition before 1950 there is not much data from anywhere other than the US and the "Rest of the World" so the other regions won't show much success if an act comes from before then.

Here are the artist profiles for the 60 artists with the most success in the 134 song charts at the time the data was processed:

Region Profile of The Beatles songs
The Beatles
Region Profile of Madonna song
Madonna
Region Profile of Elvis Presley songs
Elvis Presley
Region Profile of The Rolling Stones songs
The Rolling Stones
Region Profile of Michael Jackson songs
Michael Jackson
Region Profile of Elton John songs
Elton John
Region Profile of Bee Gees songs
Bee Gees
Region Profile of U2 songs
U2
Region Profile of Abba songs
Abba
Region Profile of Bing Crosby songs
Bing Crosby
Region Profile of Prince songs
Prince
Region Profile of Frank Sinatra songs
Frank Sinatra
Region Profile of Queen songs
Queen
Region Profile of Stevie Wonder songs
Stevie Wonder
Region Profile of Paul Whiteman songs
Paul Whiteman
Region Profile of David Bowie songs
David Bowie
Region Profile of Rod Stewart songs
Rod Stewart
Region Profile of Cliff Richard songs
Cliff Richard
Region Profile of Whitney Houston songs
Whitney Houston
Region Profile of Mariah Carey songs
Mariah Carey
Region Profile of Bon Jovi songs
Bon Jovi
Region Profile of The Beach Boys songs
The Beach Boys
Region Profile of Depeche Mode songs
Depeche Mode
Region Profile of Phil Collins songs
Phil Collins
Region Profile of Janet Jackson songs
Janet Jackson
Region Profile of George Michael songs
George Michael
Region Profile of The Pet Shop Boys songs
The Pet Shop Boys
Region Profile of Nat King Cole songs
Nat King Cole
Region Profile of Perry Como songs
Perry Como
Region Profile of Glenn Miller songs
Glenn Miller
Region Profile of Donna Summer songs
Donna Summer
Region Profile of Bruce Springsteen songs
Bruce Springsteen
Region Profile of Roxette songs
Roxette
Region Profile of Britney Spears songs
Britney Spears
Region Profile of Bryan Adams songs
Bryan Adams
Region Profile of Louis Armstrong songs
Louis Armstrong
Region Profile of Guy Lombardo songs
Guy Lombardo
Region Profile of Boney M songs
Boney M
Region Profile of Celine Dion songs
Celine Dion
Region Profile of REM songs
REM
Region Profile of Wings songs
Wings
Region Profile of Duran Duran songs
Duran Duran
Region Profile of James Brown songs
James Brown
Region Profile of Duke Ellington songs
Duke Ellington
Region Profile of John Lennon songs
John Lennon
Region Profile of Billy Joel songs
Billy Joel
Region Profile of The Backstreet Boys songs
The Backstreet Boys
Region Profile of Creedence Clearwater Revival songs
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Region Profile of Cher songs
Cher
Region Profile of Eminem songs
Eminem
Region Profile of Kylie Minogue songs
Kylie Minogue
Region Profile of Neil Diamond songs
Neil Diamond
Region Profile of Diana Ross songs
Diana Ross
Region Profile of Aretha Franklin songs
Aretha Franklin
Region Profile of Chicago songs
Chicago
Region Profile of The Temptations songs
The Temptations
Region Profile of Aerosmith songs
Aerosmith
Region Profile of Roy Orbison songs
Roy Orbison
Region Profile of Tina Turner songs
Tina Turner
Region Profile of The Sweet songs
The Sweet

Artist Album Success

The pictures in this section show the album based success of different artists, the numbers are based on unadjusted scores which means that modern acts are over represented. In addition unlike the song data the album charts do not adequately cover Japan and the Rest of the World.

Here are the artist profiles for the 60 artists with the most success in the 91 album charts at the time the data was processed:

Region Profile of The Beatles albums
The Beatles
Region Profile of The Rolling Stones albums
The Rolling Stones
Region Profile of Elvis Presley albums
Elvis Presley
Region Profile of Elton John albums
Elton John
Region Profile of Bob Dylan albums
Bob Dylan
Region Profile of Madonna albums
Madonna
Region Profile of U2 albums
U2
Region Profile of Bruce Springsteen albums
Bruce Springsteen
Region Profile of Pink Floyd albums
Pink Floyd
Region Profile of Queen albums
Queen
Region Profile of Prince albums
Prince
Region Profile of David Bowie albums
David Bowie
Region Profile of Celine Dion albums
Celine Dion
Region Profile of Rod Stewart albums
Rod Stewart
Region Profile of Michael Jackson albums
Michael Jackson
Region Profile of REM albums
REM
Region Profile of Bon Jovi albums
Bon Jovi
Region Profile of Neil Young albums
Neil Young
Region Profile of Led Zeppelin albums
Led Zeppelin
Region Profile of Frank Sinatra albums
Frank Sinatra
Region Profile of Santana albums
Santana
Region Profile of Bee Gees albums
Bee Gees
Region Profile of Eric Clapton albums
Eric Clapton
Region Profile of Mariah Carey albums
Mariah Carey
Region Profile of Metallica albums
Metallica
Region Profile of Phil Collins albums
Phil Collins
Region Profile of Abba albums
Abba
Region Profile of Barbra Streisand albums
Barbra Streisand
Region Profile of AC/DC albums
AC/DC
Region Profile of Depeche Mode albums
Depeche Mode
Region Profile of Genesis albums
Genesis
Region Profile of Dire Straits albums
Dire Straits
Region Profile of Whitney Houston albums
Whitney Houston
Region Profile of Deep Purple albums
Deep Purple
Region Profile of Iron Maiden albums
Iron Maiden
Region Profile of Robbie Williams albums
Robbie Williams
Region Profile of Sting albums
Sting
Region Profile of Neil Diamond albums
Neil Diamond
Region Profile of Paul McCartney albums
Paul McCartney
Region Profile of Fleetwood Mac albums
Fleetwood Mac
Region Profile of Red Hot Chili Peppers albums
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Region Profile of Eminem albums
Eminem
Region Profile of Billy Joel albums
Billy Joel
Region Profile of Eagles albums
Eagles
Region Profile of Bryan Adams albums
Bryan Adams
Region Profile of Simply Red albums
Simply Red
Region Profile of Stevie Wonder albums
Stevie Wonder
Region Profile of Van Morrison albums
Van Morrison
Region Profile of Bob Marley albums
Bob Marley
Region Profile of Simon & Garfunkel albums
Simon & Garfunkel
Region Profile of John Lennon albums
John Lennon
Region Profile of Jethro Tull albums
Jethro Tull
Region Profile of The Who albums
The Who
Region Profile of Nirvana albums
Nirvana
Region Profile of Mike Oldfield albums
Mike Oldfield
Region Profile of Cliff Richard albums
Cliff Richard
Region Profile of James Last albums
James Last
Region Profile of The Beach Boys albums
The Beach Boys
Region Profile of The Cure albums
The Cure
Region Profile of Paul Simon albums
Paul Simon

Song Titles

The pictures in this section show the success of different song titles in the regions. The much larger pool of possible song titles means that each one has to have a greater level of success to show in a region. Here are the region profiles for the 20 most successful song titles:

Region Profile for song Crazy
Crazy
Region Profile for song Angel
Angel
Region Profile for song Stay
Stay
Region Profile for song Without You
Without You
Region Profile for song The Power of Love
The Power of Love
Region Profile for song It's My Life
It's My Life
Region Profile for song Heaven
Heaven
Region Profile for song Unchained Melody
Unchained Melody
Region Profile for song Always
Always
Region Profile for song I Will Always Love You
I Will Always Love You
Region Profile for song Words
Words
Region Profile for song Believe
Believe
Region Profile for song I Believe
I Believe
Region Profile for song Venus
Venus
Region Profile for song Jump
Jump
Region Profile for song Cherish
Cherish
Region Profile for song My Love
My Love
Region Profile for song Do They Know It's Christmas?
Do They Know It's Christmas?
Region Profile for song Fire
Fire
Region Profile for song Killing Me Softly With His Song
Killing Me Softly With His Song

Why These Regions?

The regions were originally defined based on the IFPI data from 2003. Having previously tried a number of alternate ways to group the data (for example by region, North America against Europe) we found that dividing into these 10 regions (9 geographical and one for the Internet) delivers some reasonable results for looking at regional success. Basing the market estimates on the 2004 IFPI figures, which was the last year they listed all the countries, we get a similar profile:

Region Countries Market Code Market Share
United States 12153.4 usa 36.2%
Japan 5167.8 jap 15.4%
United Kingdom 3508.7 gbr 10.4%
France 2149 fra 6.4%
Germany 1979.3 ger 5.9%
Southern Europe Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia 2111.1 seu 6.3%
Northern Europe Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Iceland 1753.4 neu 5.2%
Anglophone Australia, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Zimbabwe 2052.8 eng 6.1%
Others Russia, Brazil, Mexico, China, Turkey, India, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, Argentina, Colombia, Israel, Ukraine, Chile, Malaysia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Pakistan, Central America, Venezuela, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Ecuador, Uruguay, Qatar, Peru, Bahrain, Oman, Paraguay, 2738.3 row 8.1%

This division gives enough detail to show some interesting patterns without leaving any one region with so few inputs that the lumpiness of the input overwhelms the results. Each of the regions can be related to a multiple of 5%, so the USA gets 7 slots, Japan gets 3 and so on. This leads to the ratio of areas that we have used.

Regional Map

The next step is to arrange the areas. We started by trying to place each region in the location it would occupy on a standard world map. Once we had identified the regions that are similar we adjusted the map to bring them closer, for example the other English Speaking countries clearly need to be close to the USA and UK, the European countries must be grouped and so on. The various flags were all from Wikipedia.

The next step was to assign a value to each region for a particular item such as an artist. The various regions each have a different number of contributing charts, and these all cover different periods. So we had to sum the unadjusted scores across the region and then sort these and take the position of the item in the total list. Any item with a position of 1-10 then gets a transparency of 0% to 5%, a position of 100th in the list is a transparency of 30% and so on. The actual numbers were fine tuned to deliver a set of pictures that show the features.

How well do the regions match?

Regional Correlation

If the artist rankings are correlated between regions we get the mass of numbers pictured above. The darker blues indicate closer results. There are a number of features that can be seen here:

  • The "Rest of the World" is the most distinct, this is probably mainly due to the small volume of data available
  • Japan's taste in music is quite distinct from anywhere else, they are most similar to the smaller European countries
  • Apart from France the rest of Europe (including the UK) form their own block
  • Within Europe there are pairs that tie together like North & South Europe and Germany & South Europe. The closeness of Germany and the UK was a surprise
  • The US, UK and other English speaking countries are all quite close to each other
  • Charts from the Internet track the US, UK and other English speaking countries (this may be selection bias since we all speak English)

Data Source Versions

The process of calculating these metrics is quite complex, for that reason the data shown is not recalculated when the site is generated. The data was calculated as follows:

  • Artist Song Data: from version 1.8.0034
  • Artist Album Data: from version 1.8.0034
  • Song Title Data: from version 1.8.0035

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Previous Comments (newest first)

12 Apr 2016

Japan

In your graphics shouldn't you reduce the size of Japan's share. We are really only talking about English-language songs/albums

That is a valid point