One Direction’s first two albums topped the Billboard 200 in their debut weeks of release – an achievement that has not been made by a British male group since the Beatles.
It goes without saying that we could expect to see a ton of hype from media and fans alike surrounding the release of their 3rd album, “Midnight Memories.” But just how frenzied were fans over the British heartthrobs and the highly anticipated album? Which member did they go most crazy for? And what does 1D’s following look like on different parts of the globe?
We turned to our data from the week leading up to the album release (November 12th -19th) for some answers. Between October 1st November 19th, 2,504 stories were published about One Direction and 69 of these stories covered their new album release, “Midnight Memories.”
We looked at consumption of the 2,504 1D-related stories in different countries during the week of Nov. 12 – 19th and here’s what we found:
Not surprisingly, British fans consumed twice as much 1D content than Australians (as a % of total national page views) and at least 7x more 1D content than any other country included in our analysis.
Next, we looked at daily consumption of the 69 stories specifically covering the “Midnight Memories” release:
On the day the album leaked (Nov. 18th), consumption of stories covering the album skyrocketed to 0.5% of total page views in the U.K.
This figure is pretty staggering when you consider that only 53 stories had been published about the album at this point. So, just 53 stories accounted for half a percent of U.K.’s total page views on this day! Would the album have seen such a dramatic response from fans had it been released as scheduled?
Another interesting observation from our data was the discrepancy between media coverage of One Direction as a whole and their coverage of individual members. Specific 1D members were the subject of more stories (2,723) than the band as a whole (2,504), reflecting how they are represented in the media as individual celebrities.
Which of the 5 One Direction celebrities garnered the most attention as the world awaited the 3rd album release?
When it comes to media coverage, Harry Styles stole the show with 1,464 stories published about him between Oct. 1st and Nov. 19th. Next up was Liam Payne, the star of 596 stories during this timeframe, followed by Niall Horan (579 stories), Louis Tomlinson (267 stories) and, lastly, Zayn Malik (30 stories). Contrary to what you might expect, fans’ favorites did not simply echo those of the media.
Since a roughly equal number of stories were published on Niall Horan and Liam Payne, we started by comparing their popularity among fans (in terms of relative page views):
Although roughly the same number of stories were published on each of them, page views on stories featuring Niall Horan far outnumbered those on Liam Payne no matter where fans were from.
Since the remaining 1D members each made a very different number of headlines, we looked at page views per story published to level the playing field and compare all 5 members side by side:
Despite very little attention from the media, Zayn Malik has clearly won over the hearts of fans with far more page views per story than any other member.
Lastly, we looked at where each member has the strongest (and weakest) following:
When it comes to global fan-bases, Harry Styles is more popular in France than in any other country, accounting for 81% of all content consumed on one specific 1D member in France. Niall Horan has a big following in Spain with 58% of page views on 1D member-focused content.