How do you argue the importance of a piece of music?

Do you use metrics that matter inherently according to first principles?

Or do you use metrics that are easy to measure but inherently irrelevant to the conversation?

If you pick out metrics like streams, copies sold and revenue, you have a pretty anaemic argument. Yes, they can be impressive in important pieces too, but they are impressive in works that are designed to sell, rather than contribute something meaningful to the culture.

The problem with optimising your work around numbers, is that resources skew towards benefitting short term goals. This largely comes down to an exercise in moving money so your work spreads even if the long term cultural impact is questionable.

For a piece of music to really matter over time, the difficult metric that needs to be a part of the conversation is the impact it had on culture. How it influenced future generations, how it challenged the status quo, how it brought people together, and how it made the world better.

Because work that changed the trajectory of how we live will always remain more important than some arbitrary numbers.