Sandbox Issue 237: VIEWTUBE. When Music Video Plays Get Juiced

Lead: Sony Music India artist Badshah claimed to have broken the 24-hour record on YouTube for 75m plays of his track ‘Paagal’ in July. Then people started asking questions. It eventually emerged that the track’s success had been boosted by TrueView ads before and during other YouTube videos, all of which counted toward the opening […]

Lil Nas X promises to release 25 remixes of ‘Panini’

If you thought that the succession of remixes of Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ were a *bit much* we’d advise you to look away from your screen now. “PANINI REMIX 1 OF 25 TONIGHT!” he tweeted yesterday. This was shortly before dropping said remix, which features rap star DaBaby. ‘Panini’ was originally released as a single in […]

No, ‘Old Town Road’ may not have been THE summer smash of 2019

It seems silly to raise the question of what was the biggest hit of summer 2019, given the chart dominance of ‘Old Town Road’ in various parts of the world in recent months. Yet here’s the thing: it wasn’t the most-streamed song of the summer on Spotify or on YouTube. Both services have put out their global charts […]

Amuse CEO talks growth, Old Town Road and artist-friendly deals

“What have you done for me lately?” Diego Farias, CEO of music distributor and label Amuse, is on the other end of a video call to Music Ally, singing the chorus of Janet Jackson’s classic track with a smile on his face, but thankfully no wardrobe malfunctions with his clothing. It’s not (just) for the […]

Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy’ finally hits number one in the US

After nine weeks hovering impatiently at number two in the US singles chart, Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy’ has finally toppled Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ from the summit, securing her a first number one in her home country. Billboard reported that 39.1m US streams and 20k download sales – up 10% and 11% week-on-week respectively – […]

‘Old Town Road’ and ‘Bad Guy’ get new remix versions

Once upon a time, remixes were usually an easy way to provide B-sides for singles and/or cuts more suited for club DJs. In the post-Despacito era, they’re becoming a strong tactic to give already-big tracks a new lease of chart / streaming life. Justin Bieber was famously part of the ‘Despacito’ remix, and now he’s […]

Taylor Swift joins list of artists failing to beat ‘Old Town Road’

There’s a slightly woe-is-me feel to Vanity Fair’s ‘If Taylor Swift Can’t Have a No. 1 Pop Hit in 2019, Can Anyone?’ headline. The correct answer being ‘Yes, Lil Nas X has been having a giant No. 1 pop hit in 2019’. But the article’s point is that Swift is just the latest big pop […]

Old Town Road takes top spot in YouTube’s global songs chart

Remember when Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ was very much a US thing, with the controversy over whether it qualified for the country-music charts? Now it’s absolutely a global thing: last week, it dislodged K-Pop stars Blackpink from the top of YouTube’s global top-songs chart. ‘Old Town Road’ generated 73.6m views on YouTube in the […]

Is Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ track country or not?

“Yeah, I’m gonna take my horse to the old town road. I’m gonna ride ’til I can’t no more…” If you just read the lyrics, you might well think that ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X was a country track, even if the couplet “My life is a movie, bull ridin’ and boobies” makes […]

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