Instrument-driven genres such as rock and roll have been eclipsed by sample and computer-based genres such as hip hop and electronic dance music in recent years. Yet even in today’s less band friendly music scene, there are many famous, popular, and successful music groups.
While overall album sales hit historic lows as recently as 2016, the popularity of most bands can be assessed via alternative means. Online presence is an especially effective measure, be it the number of fans who stream a band’s music or even the amount of people searching for information on a band.
24/7 Wall St. identified the most popular bands of the last 10 years using a number of different metrics. These include measures such as Billboard performance, Wikipedia page views, and popularity on Spotify.
Many of the most popular bands have been around significantly longer than the last 10 years. Some rose to fame as far back as the 1960s and 1970s and continue to release music to large fan bases even today. Pink Floyd is one such example. The English rock band released their first studio album, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” in 1967, and their most recent album, “The Endless River,” in 2014. While the latter sold only 500,000 copies in the United States – far fewer than their 15x Multi-Platinum “Dark Side of the Moon” – the band is still active and maintains a strong following.
Other groups that are present on the list are far less experienced. Irish band The Script released their first studio album in 2008, as did country music group Lady Antebellum. Pop band fun. released only two studio albums – in 2009 and 2012 – before announcing a hiatus in 2015.
As records do not sell at the rate they once did, today’s top bands must build a strong online presence in order to be successful. Most of the bands on our list have done just that. Both Maroon 5 and Coldplay have each amassed over 10 million followers on online music streaming service Spotify. There are 10 other bands that have over 5 million followers. Other artists’ popularity is more clearly illustrated in Wikipedia searches. The South Korean-Chinese boy band EXO has had their Wikipedia page viewed over 11.5 million times over the last 12 months – more than any other band on the list.
To determine the most popular bands of the last 10 years, 24/7 Wall St. generated an index based on sales for albums released between 2008 to 2018, popularity of singles released between 2008 to 2018, popularity of a band’s Wikipedia page, and popularity on Spotify.