Tool, Metal’s Growth, and the Future of the Album

When was the last time you got your face melted with some heavy metal? Well, distributor TuneCore says it was probably during 2018 and American alt-metal group Tool says it’s right now on the Billboard 200 chart..... chartmetric.com @chartmetric #chartmetric #musicindustry #musicbusiness #Tool #album #heavymetal #rock #FearInoculum #TaylorSwift #ConsequenceofSound #Billboard #Arcangel #RaeSremmurd


  • Highlights  
    • When was the last time you got your face melted with some heavy metal? Well, distributor TuneCore says it was probably during 2018 and American alt-metal group Tool says it’s right now on the Billboard 200 chart.
  • Mission   
    • Good morning, it’s Jason 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.
    • Chartmetric’s social media handle is Chartmetric, no “S ”- follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook- we’re always posting cool music tidbits for your knowledge! And here’s more.
  • Date
    • This is your Data Dump for Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019.
  • Tool, Metal’s Growth, and the Future of the Album
    • Yesterday, digital distributor TuneCore released some Q1 2019 statistics stating that $83M USD was earned by its artists, bringing their total distribution revenue to over $1.5B all-time.
    • However, one of its finer details caught the eye of some music outlets like Consequence of Sound: the Heavy metal genre sported a 154% increase in streams and downloads in 2018, outdoing the next four genres J-Pop at a 133%, R&B/Soul at 68% and K-Pop at 58%.
    • While the 2018 data might feel a little outdated, how about this week of September 14th, when American alternative metal band Tool debuted in the #1 Billboard 200 album chart like they were a Billie Eilish / Drake super-group. 
      • Tool’s new album “Fear Inoculum” breaks all of the pop and hip-hop’s rules, as it was 13 years in the making for the progressive metal act and according to Billboard:
        • “...a now-rare example of a No. 1 album without…” a concert redemption offer, pre-order promotion, or merchandise bundle.
      • Tool amazingly relegated Taylor Swift’s “Lover” album to the #2 slot on the Billboard chart, and the band is currently ranked 679th overall according to Chartmetric’s Cross-Platform Performance ranking as of yesterday.
      • Tool’s Neighboring Artists who are ranked similarly include Reggaeton artist Arcangel, Pop crooner Alec Benjamin and Rap duo Rae Sremmurd.
    • Now given Tool’s smashing album success this week, you’d expect to see them similarly trouncing their fellow artists with similar music metrics.
      • However, the opposite is the case: Tool only wields 830K Spotify followers, while Rae Sremmurd has over 5.1M and Arcangel has over 3.8M.
      • Similarly, both artists also trounce Tool with regard to Spotify Monthly Listeners -- the rap and reggaeton stars are collecting almost 11M unique streamers on the Swedish platform while Tool only has half that.
    • But that’s why it’s important to take into account more hits-driven artists vs. album-driven artists: Tool’s fans have long known they don’t go by industry rules and that’s part of why they love them.
      • Six of the new album’s ten tracks clock in over 10 minutes each and the packaged CD released with a 4-inch HD screen inside of it to play its visual arts-driven music videos to their fans that bought it.
    • So while no single Tool songs are appearing on Apple Music or Amazon track charts, the album sits at No. 14 on Apple’s Album charts and leading their Rock one. 
      • They also take No. 17 on Amazon’s Album charts and No. 1 on its Rock chart.
      • This breaks the normal correlation between each platform’s track and album charts...which just goes to show that Tool is doing things their way, in a big way.
    • As most music markets continue to digitize away from the physical world, Tool is showing that while the album format still has its charms, they are likely also benefitting from a   rising tide where metal fans are digitizing themselves.
Outro
  • That’s it for your Daily Data Dump for Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. This is Jason from Chartmetric.
  • Free accounts are available at chartmetric.com 
  • And article links and show notes are at: podcast.chartmetric.com
  • Happy Wednesday, and we’ll see you on Friday!
2019 Chartmetric