REPORTED BY: KEVIN RUTHERFORD/BILLBOARD
Lil Tecca’s “Ran$om” is the most-streamed song in the U.S., but it pulled fewer than 30 million streams.
For the first time in nearly three years, the most-streamed song in the United States earned fewer than 30 million listens in a single week in the U.S.
In the tracking week ending Nov. 14 (Billboard charts dated Nov. 23), Lil Tecca’s “Ran$om” earned 28.5 million streams, according to Nielsen Music. That gives it the distinction as the most-streamed song in the U.S. for a 10th week, despite a 6% drop in streams from the previous tracking week that ended Nov. 7.
“Ran$om” is the first song to be the most-streamed in the country with a count below 30 million since the beginning of 2017. That’s when Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles,” featuring Gucci Mane, accumulated 29.3 million streams toward the charts dated Jan. 7, 2017. In that particular week, the song enjoyed its seventh and final week as the country’s most-streamed song, giving up the distinction the following week (Jan. 14, 2017) to Migos’ “Bad and Boujee,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert.
Since then, every song that’s been streamed the most of any in the U.S. has pulled at least 30 million. That’s included multiple weeks in the last year-and-a-half during which the week’s top-streamed song was listened to over 100 million times, with Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, holding the biggest streaming week in history at 143 million streams toward the April 20 tallies earlier this year.
“Ran$om” marks the smallest week for the most-streamed song in the country since the charts dated Sept. 3, 2016, when The Chainsmokers‘ “Closer,” featuring Halsey, earned 23.1 million. That was its first week with the most-streamed distinction of 12 in all; it eventually rose to 40.5 million streams later that month (Sept. 24, 2016).
Is this a red flag for the music industry when it comes to streaming? Not necessarily. According to Nielsen Music, for the tracking week ending Nov. 14 there were 23.1 billion on-demand streams, a fairly minimal decrease of .1%. One month prior, in the week ending Oct. 17, streams reached 22.8 billion. May 16? 21.9 billion. And at the beginning of the year (Jan. 10), the number sat at 19.4 billion.
It is, however, evident that there isn’t a clear-cut frontrunner on the streaming charts these days, in the way there was not just during the reign of “Old Town Road” but also some of the more viral tunes of the past year or two from Drake, Taylor Swift and more. “Ran$om,” for instance, is in its 23rd week on the Streaming Songs chart (where it’s No. 2 behind Lil Baby’s “Woah” due to the latter’s higher volume of paid and premium streams vs. programmed or ad-supported clicks).
That means that if a major star were to release a new song in the coming weeks, its competition on the streaming side isn’t as formidable as it might have been, say, last spring – that is, barring a continued streaming jump from Arizona Zervas’ “Roxanne,” which leaps an additional 22% to 20.8 million streams for the tracking week ending Nov. 14. Your move, Biebers and Adeles of the world.