Karol G’s ‘Mañana Será Bonito’ Makes a Big Impact on Billboard Global Charts

The release of Karol G’s Mañana Será Bonito, the fourth studio LP from the Latin music superstar, is already historic. The set earned 94,000 album equivalent units in the United States in the week ending March 2, according to Luminate, making it the Billboard 200 chart’s first all-Spanish language No. 1 by a female artist.

Globally, the set’s 17 songs drew 438.2 million official streams, with 13 of its tracks hitting the March 11-dated Billboard Global 200. Nine of those appear on the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. ranking, including four songs whose releases pre-date the album. All nine rank higher on the Global 200 than on Global Excl. U.S.

It’s rare to see a Colombian artist who performs exclusively in Spanish do better on the Global 200 than the Global Excl. U.S. chart, where the primarily English-language American market is the only difference in methodology.

But based on Karol G’s global chart history, and that of many other major hitmakers of the last few years, the balance between her ranking on Billboard’s global surveys may even out in the weeks to come. Over the 30 months since the global charts launched, a pattern has emerged where an album’s first-week streams will lean much heavier toward domestic activity, before steadying in the weeks that follow.

In the case of Karol G, the spike in U.S. activity is sharp. One week ago, three advance singles from Bonito were on both charts and averaged more than 80% of their streams from outside the U.S. in the week ending Feb. 23 (ahead of the album’s Feb. 24 release), all ranking higher on Global Excl. U.S. than the Global 200.

In the album’s debut week, her 13 new tracks averaged 66% non-U.S. streams, while a couple songs dipped as low as 59% and 57%. Even though her international stream total remains above 50%, the drop from 80% international to 66% in the album’s first week reflects a common listening pattern in America.

Based on streaming activity for practically all major global albums in the charts’ history, the U.S. versus non-U.S. splits will likely return to Karol G’s “normal.”

Drake, Billboard’s top artist of the 2010s, released his long-teased Certified Lover Boy in September 2021. All 21 songs debuted on both lists but averaged at No. 16 on the Global 200 and No. 44 on Global Excl. U.S. in the set’s debut week. Of its combined 1.1 billion streams, just 32% came from outside the U.S., less than half of that week’s average.

Three weeks later, the album’s international streams climbed — though barely — to 34%. Three months after that, they settled at 37%. These changes aren’t drastic, but similar patterns exist for recent hit albums by J. Cole, Future, and Kendrick Lamar.

Those higher-U.S. and lower-international splits are common for hip-hop albums, but their rising trajectory applies to pop artists as well. Taylor Swift’s Midnights averaged 53% of its 973 million first-week streams (for the set’s 13 standard-edition tracks) from outside the U.S. Three weeks later, that share bumped to 56%, and three months later, to 61%.

Even among artists from outside the U.S., first-week streams spike in America. Harry Styles’ Grammy-winning Harry’s House was released last year and scored 620 million streams in its first seven days. Of those, 60% came from outside the U.S., far lower than the 75% of his own years-old hit “Watermelon Sugar.” The opening 60% grew to 66% by week four, and to 69% by month four. The same goes for recent releases by fellow Brits Adele and Ed Sheeran.

These examples, all of which debuted their entire track listings on the Global 200, suggest an urgency from American listeners for first-week listens, while international fans, broadly speaking, are slower to discover new releases. But while the artists mentioned above all follow this pattern, the closest comparison to Karol G’s glass-ceiling moment is the other artist to score major American success with all-Spanish albums.

Bad Bunny dominated 2022 with Un Verano Sin Ti, the album that spawned his biggest U.S. hits to date. The 23-song set debuted with 1.1 billion streams worldwide, 66% of which were from outside the U.S. That number is much closer to that week’s average than the opening week splits for Drake and Swift, but the fact that Bad Bunny was below the average at all, just as Karol G is on her debut week, was surprising. One week prior, he had six globally charting songs, averaging 75%. While the release of his new album generated huge numbers everywhere, the bigger immediate spike in consumption was in America, despite his all-Spanish-language material.

Less than a month after the album’s release, the pendulum moved closer to the center, up from 66% to 71% non-U.S. streams. That number remained relatively steady as the album continued to rule various charts. The happy medium between the album’s first week numbers and Bad Bunny’s pre-Verano figures also indicate that while he experienced the same U.S.-heavy first-week spike as virtually every other major pop act, the album may have done some heavy lifting in making him an even bigger star in the U.S. than he had been when he scored the first-ever all-Spanish No. 1 album.

Time will tell how consumption for Mañana Será Bonito will settle in the coming weeks and months, but Bad Bunny’s 2022 may be indicative of her future global prospects. Like Bad Bunny, Karol G scored her biggest Billboard Hot 100 hit yet upon impact, with “TGQ,” with Shakira, debuting at No. 7, leading a heap of debuts further down the U.S.-based chart and a giant domestic streaming total. We can expect international listeners, specifically those in South and Latin America, to close the gap somewhat, although her global star power could continue to rise in all directions.

Powered by Billboard.

Related Articles

Back to top button