Uber-popular DJs Alan Walker and Marshmello can both claim huge fanbases – but which electronic artist is genuinely the most popular of the two?
Marshmello is slightly more popular than Alan Walker by a few different metrics. Most notably, Marshmello has more monthly listeners on the popular music streaming site, Spotify, than Alan Walker.
Although the two musicians have somewhat overlapping fanbases, it does appear that Marshmello is a little more well-known than Alan Walker. This popularity can be measured a few different ways, including streaming data and social media presence.
Alan Walker and Marshmello are both DJs, but this does not mean that they are the same.
Alan Walker is a British-Norweigian DJ who wears a signature look of a dark hoodie and face mask onstage. He released his debut album, titled ‘Different World,’ in 2018, which amassed around 93,000 album sales according to a 2019 Billboard report.
Marshmello is an American DJ known for his iconic marshmallow bucket helmet that he wears over his head. He released his debut album, titled ‘Joytime,’ in 2016, and followed that up with two sequels, ‘Joytime II’ and ‘Joytime III.’
Each musician is successful in his own right, and it is challenging to measure artists against one another, as taste is incredibly subjective.
For this reason, this article will focus solely on quantitative data such as streaming numbers and social media followers to measure each artist’s popularity, as opposed to more subjective means such as awards and accolades.
Marshmello is more popular on Spotify, one of the world’s most popular music streaming services that boasts over 286 million monthly active users. Marshmello has 47,009,919 monthly Spotify listeners, while Alan Walker has 19,683,979 monthly Spotify listeners as of 2020.
Marshmello is also more popular on YouTube, another streaming service – at least in terms of subscribers.
Marshmello has 49.6 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, and his most popular video upload, titled ‘Marshmello – Alone (Official Music Video),’ garnered 1.8 billion views. In comparison, Alan Walker has 37.1 million YouTube subscribers, and his most popular video, ‘Alan Walker – Faded’, has 2.9 billion views on the website.
Although Marshmello has more YouTube subscribers, Alan Walker has the video with this highest view count for his ‘Faded’ music video. You can watch the music video, which features dramatic shots of Alan Walker in desolate grey industrial sites, below:
It seems that Marshmello is more popular on social media as well.
On Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform with 2.4 billion users worldwide, Marshmello’s page has 7,459,760 likes and 18,567,653 people who follow his page for updates. On the other hand, Alan Walker’s page has 4,038,554 Facebook likes and 7,075,844 people following his page.
Marshmello is also more popular on Instagram.
Overall, it does seem like Marshmello is more popular than Alan Walker.
Most people’s next question would logically be to wonder how and why Marshmello got to be so popular and successful in the music industry. What makes one artist stand apart from the others?
One unique thing that made Marshmello stand out was that he did not want to be seen.
In the music industry, where everyone is vying for their time in the spotlight, Marshmello stood out because he actively shunned the spotlight. Instead of showing fans his face, he donned a big marshmallow-shaped bucket helmet to hide his identity from the world.
This way, the industry was forced to report on his musical talent instead of his personal life. It also created an aura of mystery around the artist, according to a Forbes 30 Under 30 cover story in 2018.
Even Skrillex, a massively popular DJ, wanted to know the man behind the mask. Still, according to Forbes, Marshmello was initially too shy to talk to him, saying, “Skrillex [is] the guy who I’ve been looking up to ever since I started doing electronic music … I’m not just going to call him.”
Another reason Marshmello became so popular was that he remained independent and did not sign any record contracts, allowing him to collaborate with various artists’ labels, according to the same Forbes interview.
In the end, Marshmello and Alan Walker may have differently sized fanbases, but each DJ is a fantastic musician in his own right.