Who has wolfed down the most strips of bacon in 5 minutes is a pretty finite record in itself. These days, it seems Guinness is becoming even more microscopic. Which green-eyed 30-something male from Bolivia has wolfed down the most strips of Maple Leaf brand bacon in 5 minutes? Yes, let’s put aside for a moment the bacon question about sugar being listed as an ingredient while the nutrition facts template lists sugars at 0%.
At one of his recent sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Justin Bieber was presented with 8 framed certificates celebrating his record-breaking achievements by staff from Jim Pattison’s Guinness World Records. (The publisher has dropped the words “Book of” from the title). These records will be included in the 2017 edition. While we, along with fans of the highly successful recording artist, are happy with the announcements, we are reminded by some of the records how over-inclusive the Guinness group has questionably become. They are supposed to be world records but included are records within a country. They also endorse certain brands. We will spell things out with comments following the Biebs’ records below.
1. The record for the most streamed track on Spotify in one week (“What Do You Mean?” – 30,723,708 plays).
2. The record for the most streamed album on Spotify in one week (Purpose, 205 million plays).
3. The record for the most YouTube subscribers of any male (20,711,202).
4. The record for the most viewed YouTube music channel (10,478,651,389).
5. The record for the most Twitter followers of any male (82,235,563).
6. The record for the first act to fill the three top slots simultaneously on the U.K. singles chart: (“Love Yourself” (No. 1), “Sorry” (No. 2) and “What Do You Mean?” (No. 3).
7. The record for having the most simultaneous new entries on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (13).
8. The most simultaneous tracks on the Billboard Hot 100 (17).
We wonder why Guinness is highlighting streaming brand Spotify in particular? Deezer, Pandora anyone? Streaming records only across all services would undoubtedly be more appropriate. For some things, records by age group, sex, ethnicity, etc. may make sense but some may not think it is a must for brands Twitter and YouTube. It is interesting that Guinness mentions Canada’s Justin Bieber in records for singles charts of The United Kingdom and The United States but not for Canada. A reminder to Canadian Jim Pattison that Bieber held not 17 but 18 simultaneous tracks on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. Sure, that chart has only been around since mid-2007, but again these are supposed to be world records; we question the mention of success on certain national charts above the rest.
The spirit of this is not to rain on the Guinness parade but to express a desire for the system to be tweaked and improved. We’re happy for The Biebs.
The Weeknd scored a couple of entries as well: most streamed album on Spotify in one year (Beauty Behind the Madness), current (60 million unique listeners). He also gets one for the most consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of U.S. Billboard’s Hot 100 by a solo male artist.