Chart Beat

'Lut Gaye' Continues Global Video Stream Dominance for India's Jubin Nautiyal

Jubin Nautiyal
Dhruv Sethi/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Jubin Nautiyal during the annual fest of Jessus and Mary College Montage 2020, on Feb. 14, 2020 in New Delhi, India.

Two months ago, Billboard reported that Jubin Nautiyal's "Lut Gaye," featuring Emraan Hashmi, became the third song by Indian acts to debut on the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart in a span of three weeks. On the latest, May 1-dated survey, the song dips to No. 87 but holds strong in one notable metric: for the fifth consecutive week, "Lut Gaye" boasts the most video streams of any song of the Global Excl. U.S. chart.

"Lut Gaye" scored 27.1 million video streams in the week ending April 22, according to MRC Data, maintaining a 33% lead over its closest competitor, Pinkfong's perennial "Baby Shark."

(The Billboard Global 200 and Global Excl. U.S. charts are based on a weighted formula incorporating official-only streams on both subscription and ad-supported tiers of audio and video music services, as well as download sales.)

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When sorting all 200 songs on the Global Excl. U.S. chart by video-only streaming activity, "Lut Gaye" isn't an outlier at the top of the list regarding its country of origin. "Baarish Ki Jaaye" by B Praak featuring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Sunanda Sharma (No. 157), the only other song on this week's ranking by Indian acts, places third, with 19.9 million video streams.

Further, the top 10 of this sorting is infused by international acts. Sure, buzzy videos by America's Lil Nas X and Canada's Justin Bieber rank fourth and sixth, respectively, but Brazil's Israel & Rodolffo and DJ Guuga featuring DJ Ivis fill out the top 10 with "Batom de Cereja," alongside Myke Towers and Juhn (both from Puerto Rico) with "Bandido," and Karol G (Colombia) and Mariah Angeliq (U.S.) with "El Makinon."

On average, songs on the Global Excl. U.S. chart sport about 70% of their streams from audio services and 30% from video. In extreme contrast, "Lut Gaye" and "Baarish Ki Jaaye" earned more than 95% of their streams for the week via video.

How to explain the chart's only two songs by Indian acts, at Nos. 87 and 157, respectively, leading the charge in video streams? For one, the Global 200 and Global Excl. U.S. charts include local streams from global digital music services available in that territory but do not yet include any India-specific streaming services. Both tracks are lighting up global video services such as YouTube, where the official music video for "Lut Gaye" has over 540 million cumulative views and "Baarish Ki Jaaye" has over 180 million, while likely scoring high audio stream counts on local streaming services that are not yet reported for the global charts.

Second, as reflected by current hits by Israel & Rodolffo and Myke Towers, as well as others by BTS, Sech and Los Legendarios, non-U.S. and non-English-language songs generally over-index on video services. Among the week's top 40 video streamers, two-thirds are not sung in English, compared to just a quarter of the actual chart's top 40, where audio streams and digital sales also factor in.

Last but not least, one viewing of each official music video for "Lut Gaye" and "Baarish Ki Jaaye" shows why audiences might be drawn to video rather than audio. Both showcase advanced choreography, set design, costuming and cinematography that resemble short films more than typical promotional clips.