Technique Tuesday: DJ Khaled vs. Tyler, the Creator

DJ Khaled takes on Billboard and Tyler, the Creator, and we're using the Analyze function and a custom chart to put them head to head.... @chartmetric #chartmetric #musicanalysis #dataanalytics #djkhaled #fatherofasahd #tylerthecreator #feliciathegoat #igor #billboard #musicnews

2019-06-11 // Technique Tuesday: DJ Khaled vs. Tyler, the Creator
  • Highlights
    • DJ Khaled is taking on Billboard’s charting calculations and Tyler, the Creator is caught in the crossfire. So, how do the two artists stack up in the streaming world?
  • Mission   
    • Good morning, it’s Rutger here at Chartmetric with your 3-minute Data Dump where we upload charts, artists, and playlists into your brain so you can stay up on the latest in the music data world.
  • Date
    • This is your Data Dump for Tuesday, June 11th, 2019.
  • Technique Tuesday: DJ Khaled vs. Tyler, the Creator
    • Yesterday, Music Business Worldwide and Pitchfork reported that DJ Khaled, who just released his new album “Father of Asahd,” is taking on Billboard’s charting methods following the album’s No. 2 placement on the Billboard 200 Albums chart behind Tyler, the Creator’s “Igor.”
    • At the heart of the issue is a discrepancy in physical album sales due to the practice of bundling, or wrapping up the sale of an album with the sale of merchandise.
    • Here are the numbers: Billboard credited Tyler, the Creator with 165,000 total album sales for the week, and DJ Khaled with 137,000. 
    • For “Igor,” that’s 74,000 physical albums sold, 90,000 Streaming Equivalent Albums sold (SEA) and 1,000 Track, or download, Equivalent Albums sold (TEA).
    • For “Father of Asahd,” the same breakdown came out to 35,000 physical, 95,000 SEA, and 7,000 TEA.
    • So far, the ostensibly arbitrary SEA measurement isn’t DJ Khaled’s issue here, but if he really is pursuing a lawsuit, then Billboard’s charting methods for streams could come under scrutiny as well.
    • Here’s how they’re calculating it: According to the New York Times’ Ben Sisario, four years ago, 1,500 streams equalled the equivalent of one physical album sale, but Billboard’s new method comes out to 1,250 for paid streams and 3,750 for free streams.
    • We can’t measure differentiated streams for DJ Khaled and Tyler, the Creator according to Billboard’s new method, but we can use our Analyze function to visibly compare the changes in their monthly Spotify listeners on a custom chart.
    • While Tyler starts off at an estimated 6.5 million monthly listeners, DJ Khaled is at an estimated 18 million around the release of their albums on May 17.
    • By the end of the week, Tyler has crossed the 10 mil threshold and DJ Khaled has racked up an estimated 20.7 mil. 
    • This means Tyler experienced a more than 50% growth rate in monthly listeners and DJ Khaled only around 15% for their album debut week ending on May 23.
    • However, DJ Khaled still ends up with around twice as many monthly Spotify listeners for the week. 
    • Does this translate to what Billboard calculated as each artist’s SEA? That’s difficult to say, because each unique monthly listener only gets counted once for every 28-day period -- no matter how many times they play a track.
    • While DJ Khaled is more exposed on the playlist front, Tyler saw a bigger gain in monthly listeners during their album release week.
    • Tyler also overtook Khaled’s Spotify Popularity Index score with a 92, vs. Khaled’s 88, out of 100.
    • Based on this data, Tyler’s “Igor” is complementing his catalogue and driving more of his streaming collectively, while DJ Khaled’s success depends on a handful of mega hits.
    • It’s a cult hip-hop icon vs. a Top 40 superstar, but DJ Khaled, with some 2.8 billion YouTube video views for the week in question, compared to just 442 million for Tyler, the Creator, shouldn’t have too much to complain about.
  • Outro
Sign up for a free account at or check out our blog at 2019 Chartmetric