You might have finally gotten tired of Lil Pump's "Gucci Gang" by the end of 2017 but most of the United States certainly hadn't. An interactive map from The Pudding that measured No. 1 songs via YouTube plays from December 2017 shows what 3000 cities around the globe were vibing to in that month. Check it out here.
In the States, "Gucci Gang" dominates the south and Midwest, while Camila Cabello's "Havana" rules the West Coat. Other pockets of the country had Post Malone's "Rockstar," controversial rapper 6ix9ine's "Gummo," and, curiously, Michael Jackson's "Beat It" (shout out Redmond, WA) as their most played tracks.
In Central and Latin America, Natti Nasha and Ozuna's "Criminal" was omnipresent, while Canada was ruled by Ed Sheeran's "Perfect." Sheeran also held serve in much of central Europe and Australia. A couple of K-pop songs that appeared in the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony were featured on the chart, including Psy's "Gangnam Style" (which dominated Kazakhstan) and Twice's "Likey" (which had a major presence in Japan).
The Pudding isn't the first place to turn to YouTube for a sense of people's listening habits. In August 2017, the New York Times produced charts analyzing the 50 most played artists on the platform between January 2016 and April 2017, looking at where they were most popular in the States. Billboard, once the industry standard, is constantly changing its chart calculation system and values YouTube plays less than other streaming services. In October 2017, we wrote about whether the changes for Billboard were unwise, particularly noting the diminishment of YouTube in their algorithm.
"Devaluing YouTube streams because they’re supported by ads instead of subscriptions feels like a step in the wrong direction, however. More people consume music on YouTube than on all other major streaming platforms combined. Reducing the value of these streams because of monetary reasons is a decision that seems misaligned with Billboard’s stated intentions of identifying the most popular music in the country," he wrote.