How having a Billboard hit song helped artists increase Instagram earnings in 2021

Ariana Grande Attending the 2020 Grammy's. Credit: Dan MacMedan-USA TODAY
Ariana Grande Attending the 2020 Grammy's. Credit: Dan MacMedan-USA TODAY /

Music, pop culture, and social media now go hand and hand, completely intertwined within one another. This has never been more prominent and evident as shown in a recent study conducted by Inês Ferreira through, which examined nine artists and their Instagram feeds before, during, and after they had a song top the Billboard charts.

Who benefited the most?

The artist who benefited the most was “Positions” singer Ariana Grande. After the 2021 hit song came out, Grande saw her pay per Instagram post increase by a whopping $237,951. After Grande, Taylor Swift edged out Justin Bieber for second place. Swift notched $147,133 more per IG post after her single “Willow” from Evermore was released. Bieber’s pay per post (PPP) increased to $573,692 up from the previous mark of $444,528.

Speaking of up, “Up” singer Cardi B was the fourth and final member on the list to raise their PPP by at least 100K netting $107,124 more after her 2021 hit came out.

Olivia Rodrigo drives to the bank.

Perhaps, the most impactful 2021 hit song to a single individual reviewed in this study was none other than pop princess of the year, Ms. Olivia Rodrigo herself. Before “Driver’s Licence” hit the airwaves, Rodrigo was netting $22,514 per Instagram post. After the track went number one, her earnings boosted to $116,746, which is a $94,232 difference. That is a life-altering amount of money.

What was the biggest surprise from the list?

What stood out the most to me from this was The Weekend’s “Blinding Lights”. The song placed last in the largest increase in pay per post even after performing at the halftime show of the  Superbowl. Typically, after performing at the event, artists’ music sales skyrocket. Therefore, I would have thought his PPP would have ranked higher among those studied.

The artists and songs featured in the report included the following: 

"Ariana Grande – “Positions”Justin Bieber – “Peaches”Taylor Swift – “Willow”Cardi B – “Up”Bad Bunny – “Dakiti”Doja Cat – “Best Friend”The Weekend – “Blinding Lights”Olivia Rodrigo – “Driver’s License”"

What do all the high figures mean?

The biggest takeaway from this study should be how closely brands pay attention to what is trending. They will try to capitalize on any artist’s success, given the diversity and various genres featured in this analysis. The study also helps artists and creators alike understand how their music affects business negotiations.

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