Who Ruled Music Streaming In 2019?
December is not only the perfect time for slowing down, sipping hot chocolate and spending time with loved ones, it's also a great opportunity to look back on which artists broke new records in streaming numbers. From Spotify to Pandora, Apple Music—and Shazam, which Apple owns—and YouTube, let's see who dominated the streaming game in 2019.
If you're active on Twitter or Instagram, you may have noticed various versions of Spotify Wrapped being shared over the past few days, after the streaming giant launched their annual microsite, which allows Spotify users to dive into their personal top artists and songs of the year. They also released the data for the platform as a whole, which named current 2020 GRAMMY nominee Post Malone as their most streamed artist globally, with over 6.5 billion streams this year.
The rest of Spotify's top artist list is made up of current GRAMMY nominees, with Billie Eilish taking the No. 2 spot with over six billion streams, followed by Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran and Bad Bunny, respectively. Eilish's GRAMMY-nominated debut album, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, is the platform's top-streamed album of 2019, making the 17-year-old the first female artist to have a No. 1 spot in that category. The highly anticipated project was also the top-streamed album on Apple Music this year.
And that's not all for the L.A. pop giant: Eilish's GRAMMY-nominated hit "bad guy" ranks as the second-most-streamed song of the year on Spotify, surpassed only by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello's hit "Señorita," which saw more than one billion streams and is also up for a 2020 GRAMMY. Spotify's other top three global tracks of 2019 are also currently in the running for a GRAMMY: Malone and Swae Lee's "Sunflower," Grande's "7 rings" and Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus' "Old Town Road – Remix."
Meanwhile, Apple Music broke out their top-streamed artists by genre instead of listing top overall, but with their new Apple Music Awards, they named Eilish their Artist of the Year. The other two awards were given to Lizzo, as the Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Lil Nas X, for Apple Music's Song of the Year with "Old Town Road." The ubiquitous Cyrus-assisted remix of the song took the No. 1 spot on Apple's global most-streamed song list, followed by "Sunflower," Grande's "thank u, next," "7 rings" and Eilish's "bad guy." Spotify named Lizzo, Lil Nas X and Puerto Rican reggaetonero Lunay as their Top Breakout Artists.
As for the top tracks on Pandora—which is measured by the numbers of "thumbs up" it gets from listeners—"Old Town Road" and "7 rings" also won over Pandora listeners, earning the No. 1 and No. 3 spots, respectively. J. Cole's Best Rap Performance GRAMMY-nominated "Middle Child" took the No. 2 spot, Malone's "WOW" snagged No. 4 and Cardi B's and Bruno Mars' "Please Me" earned the fifth highest number of likes. Pandora named Malone and Cardi as the most popular artist on their platform this year, as both artists had five songs each on this top 100 list.
Finally, YouTube also shared its platform numbers last week, with Daddy Yankee and Snow's reggaetón hit "Con Calma" earning the title of most-streamed music video globally in 2019. Rosalía, J Balvin and El Guincho's Latin GRAMMY-winning bop "Con Altura" earning the second spot on the global list, with all top five spots going to Latin urban songs.
"Con Calma" also made the U.S. version of the list at No. 10., the only Spanish song on it. Lil Nas X made this U.S. list twice; in the No. 1 spot for the audio version of the Cyrus remix and the No. 5 spot for the cameo-filled visual.
According to Apple, Spanish-language bops were also popular with Shazam users across the globe this year. "Con Calma" was the sixth-most-Shazamed song, not to be confused with Pedro Capó's Latin GRAMMY-winning "Calma," whose Farruko-supported remix earned the No. 4 spot. Not surprisingly, Eilish's "bad guy" was the most-Shazamed track globally this year.
We hope you have fun revisiting your favorite songs, music videos and albums of 2019. Find out which ones will take home a golden gramophone at the 62nd GRAMMY Awards, airing live on Jan. 26, 2020 on CBS.