A few weeks ago, a “breaking news” update dropped into my inbox and as usual I scrambled to click the link. The news? Well apparently Jay Z and Beyoncé’s On The Run tour isn’t struggling. If there was a thought bubble above my head it would have said “duh.”
To be fair, the Billboard article in question was adeptly highlighting how the ever-churning (and oft fact-free) online rumor mill had once again gotten it wrong when dooming the couple’s summer tour, by outlining how ticket sales actually work. As would be expected when you are dealing with celebrity at the levels of Queen Bey and Hubby Jay (who recently snagged the top and sixth spot respectively of Forbes’ list of 100 most powerful celebrities), gossip columns are consistently riddled with miscellaneous tales of the current miserable state of affairs. Between the awkward elevator incident, ass-less leotards and just straight up spiteful envy, there has been more than enough fodder for the “press” in recent months. But whether the tales are good or bad, that doesn’t stop Beyoncé and Jay Z from having one of the largest fan bases in the world, fans who are ready and willing to fill seats by the hundreds-of-thousands.
Said online rumor mill does have its perks though. Looking back at the past few months some of the largest spikes in growth and attention have surrounded buzz-worthy events for the couple, both good and bad. The press went nuts and Beyoncé added more than 400,000 new page likes on Facebook in a single day when she released her self-titled surprise album in December 2013. Following their saucy opening performance at the Grammy awards in late January, between them the couple saw close to 150,000 Wikipedia page views and more than 100,000 Twitter mentions. And even when news broke around the incident with Solange Knowles a few days after the Met Gala in early May, the Carters saw smaller, but nonetheless noticeable spikes in growth, adding close to half a million Facebook page likes between them that week.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that between them, Bey and Jay have a monster online fan base. While Beyoncé actually carries the lion’s share of online followers, in total the couple share close to 84 million Facebook page likes and more than 16 million Twitter followers. This translates to significant reach. With more than 13 million followers on Instagram, Beyoncé alone is one of the top ranking artists on the site, and in the week prior to the tour launch, took home more than 113,00 new followers, more than 3% of the total number of fans added for all artists tracked by Next Big Sound.
On The Run launched last week in Miami, and the couple are set to take on a total of 20 stadium shows in the coming months. First reviews of the production have been positive, concert-goers are given a taste of the real-life Carters, both the on-stage powerhouses that expertly enthrall the crowd, and behind-the-scenes footage of their lives as loving parents to a toddler.
Both husband and wife are fairly hot off of major arena tours. Beyoncé’s Mrs. Carter tour was one of the top grossing tours of 2013, during which she added close to 13 million new page likes on Facebook, a fifth of her total following and a 21% increase in new page likes from the year before, and 5.8 million new Twitter followers, close to half of her all-time total. Last year, Jay Z teamed up with Justin Timberlake for the 15-leg Legends of the Summer tour, selling out all 14 dates in North America. Note that between them, Jay Z and Timberlake have a comparable number of fans online to what the Carters bring to the table.
As for the current tour, so far so good - also socially speaking. In the week since their premiere performance, Jay Z’s numbers are all in the green. He added close to 10,000 new Twitter followers, a lift of about 60% from the week before, about 70,000 new page likes on Facebook, and can count more than 6.5 million video views on VEVO. Beyoncé has now seen more than 3 billion video views in total, thanks to the 20 million she attracted in just the past week.
The Carters will be taking On The Run to Philadelphia next, playing the 43,651-capacity Citizens Bank Park over the holiday weekend, and then it’s off to Baltimore. For those who can afford to shell out for the high-priced tickets, it promises to be the event of the summer.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. Liv Buli is the resident data journalist for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Buli is a graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and her work has appeared in Newsweek Daily Beast, Forbes, Billboard, Hypebot and more.