22 May Hit or Miss: North American songs that failed to chart in the US, and their successes abroad

With the advent of the Internet and streaming services such as YouTube and Spotify, music has become more readily accessible, in terms of both delivery platform and price. In turn, this has allowed for greater exposure for musical groups, both foreign and domestic, as users share music with each other effortlessly after a few simple clicks. Streaming services have had such a major impact on popular music that Billboard Magazine, which produces internationally recognized record charts each week, tweaked its algorithms to include on-demand streaming of individual songs to calculate its charts. Before the addition of streaming music plays, Billboard’s charts, along with most other international record charts, were constructed according to record sales (physical, and later digital). Radio was the most ubiquitous form of advertising and marketing musical groups, and the lack of open, easy, and inexpensive communication across the world created musical markets that were distinct from one another: what you heard in London would differ from what you heard in Berlin (and further still, it could differ between East and West Berlin). Of course, there were still international sensations (see the British Invasion), but on the whole, becoming a global hit was a more difficult achievement; artists were more likely to have regional success, simply by proximity. North-American artists would be more likely to sell well in North America, but there’s no guarantee for success in, say, the European markets. But what about artists that had little-to-no success within their...

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