The Most Valuable Songs from Many Countries in the World 2021

Every country has its natural resources — and every country on Earth can count its musicians among them. Science has proved that music exists in all cultures. Songwriters everywhere create music for the same fundamental reasons — including “infant care, healing, dance, and love”…

…but are they earning the same amount of money?

The Most Valuable Songs from Many Countries in the World 2021

The Spotify earnings of the most-streamed song by artists of every country were calculated — then the takings of the most Spotified track in each country were counted; and both sets of data were put into interactive tables with playable clips. Using weekly totals data from Kworb, the most-streamed song in every country was recorded. The top song and artist was from the country was checked — and if not, it was moved down the list until a song was found from a local artist.

Next, the Spotify profile of the artist was visited; and the global streaming number for the song was recorded. Then the number of streams in a country was taken and multiplied it by $0.0049, which is the per-stream payout estimate from Digital Music News. Data from Kworb was also used to record the most-streamed song of all time in as many countries as possible — regardless of the nationality of the artist.

The data was collected in February 2021.

I have been given express written permission to use the illustrations and the verbatim text from this article which was written by Justin Rampono for S Money in this article which pertains to the most valuable songs from many countries in the world 2021 — but certainly not anywhere near from every country in the world, as the original article implies.

Scroll on for a pan-cultural hit parade.

  • The most valuable song in the world is Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You, with Spotify earnings of $13,347,665 US Dollars (USD).
  • North America’s most valuable song is rockstar by Post Malone from the US, which earned $10,409,424 USD.
  • Australia is the source of Spotify’s third most valuable song: Dance Monkey by Tones and I $10,298,960 USD or $13,271,000 AUD.
  • The most-streamed song in a single country is Post Malone’s rockstar, which has played 715 million times in the US, earning $3,503,483 USD.

Click on the illustration for an enlarged view. Source: S Money.

Click here to see the map in full size.

Ed Sheeran from the UK wrote Spotify’s most valuable song in just 90 minutes – but this could be because he allegedly took his ideas from other songwriters. In fact, Spotify froze payments for Shape Of You until the copyright battle could be resolved. A shame, because the song has been spun 2,724,013,193 times around the world, totting up $13.35m in royalties.

Nicki Minaj also makes our list – but as a song rather than a musician. The most valuable song from Andorra (a tiny principality in the European Pyrenees), Nicki Minaj, is performed by Diktion, and was reported in the local press as “trending with over 22,000 views on YouTube.” The song has played 30,878 times on Spotify, totting up $151 for Diktion, who explains: “Here in Andorra only hard rap has been done, this music has never been done.”

The Whole World Loves Local Hip-Hop

Take a closer look at our data with this interactive table. Click the buttons to highlight songs from certain genres, and hit play for a blast of each local act made good.

Spotify users dig international hip hop. The top songs from 24 countries belong to this genre, making it the most-represented in the world. The most valuable, Post Malone’s rockstar, is from the US, of course. But a German hip hop track has also generated a seven-figure paycheck. Roller by Apache 207 has earned $1,217,281 from nearly 250 million plays.

You might expect to find some weird and wonderful genres in among the ‘world music,’ but Spotify users prefer to play it straight. The most unusual genre that appears in our study is rock, which represents just one country: Czech Republic. Rock track Svaz českých bohémů by Wohnout has earned $37,978 from 7.75m clicks.

Avicii’s Song the Most-Played in Sweden

Does familiarity breed contempt? Perhaps not. The most-streamed song in six of the ten highest-streaming countries is local to that territory. Post Malone’s rockstar in the US; Shape Of You in the UK; and Apache 207’s Roller in Germany are among them. The latter has earned $1.03m from local plays alone.

Among other local heroes is the late Swedish DJ and musician Avicii. The much-loved performer died by his own hand in 2018, aged 28. His track Wake Me Up has been played 117,178,113 times in his home country, earning $574,173. It is also Sweden’s top Spotify export, earning $6.01m from 1,227,990,897 (1.23 billion) plays around the world. At one point, Wake Me Up was Spotify’s most-played song ever.

The True Value of World Music

Music is a universal joy with familiar motifs from culture to culture, but two other rules are at play:

Local pride and familiar nuances often make a nation’s songs big hitters at home.
But an international banger is an international banger.

As a platform, Spotify serves certain types of listener and listening habits. But there are infinite worlds of music to discover across the planet and all sorts of fun (and better paying) ways to find and support international musicians. Listener, the most valuable song may be the song you carry in your heart.


I am very much into music — but I am generally not interested in the songs which were featured in this article.

Your thoughts about the information in this article are welcome, though. Please post them in the Comments section below.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.