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What’s Popular on Spotify: Streaming Service Releases Most Popular Songs for 2012

Sites include . Published on November 30th, 2012. Written by Anthony West.

If there was any doubt that people are keen on Spotify then the company’s release of what’s been popular this year should put the whole debate to rest. Since launch in the U.S., Spotify has grown from strength to strength and now boats over 22 million monthly active users. 7.7 million of those users use the platform to stream their favorite music daily, and a good deal (about 8%) are actually paying to do that. So what are these people listening to?

Dance is popular right now

Spotify’s most played list of songs is a tale of how dance music has come to dominate the space in the last 3 years or so. The list is broken down into ‘most streamed tracks,’ ‘most streamed albums,’ and ‘most shared tracks across Spotify and its embedded networks (Facebook & Twitter). All the listings are globally of course and include activity recorded across the various countries Spotify operates in—this includes the United States and the United Kingdom.

Dance newcomer Gotye saw his single dominate the Spotify charts this year and his single done with Kimbra called ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ was the most streamed track of 2012 on Spotify. This was followed by Carly Rae Jespen with ‘Call Me Maybe.’ In the number three slot was ‘We Are Young’ by Fun, featuring Janelle Monae; Fun was followed by Flo Rida (Hip Hop star) with ‘Whistle.’ Incidentally, Flo Rida aslo appeared on the chart at the number five position with ‘Wild Ones.’ Rounding out the top 10 was Loreen with ‘Euphoria,’ yet another dance track.

Just a theory

No-one has taken a scientific look at what makes these songs popular on Spotify but the fact that up-tempo seems to dominate may be tied into the mobile nature of streaming music. Spotify after all is ostensibly a mobile streaming platform and this accounts for, I think, the popularity of dance music across all its lists this year.

Dance music pioneer and legend David Guetta occupied the number one slot for the most streamed album in 2012 with ‘Nothing But The Beat.’ Goyte slotted in immediately in the number two position with ‘Mirror,’ followed by Canadian rapper Drake with ‘Take Care.’ Popular boy band One Direction also featured on the top 10 most streamed albums with ‘Up All Night’ taking the number five slot. The most streamed band was Coldplay (of course), while Rihanna was the most streamed female on Spotify in 2012. She was followed by Nicky Minaj and Adele in the numbers 2 and 3 slots respectively. David Guetta again dominated the most streamed male in 2012 followed by Flo Rida.

2013 will be a big year for Spotify and perhaps an even bigger year for music streaming. The company is slowly doing what many felt was impossible—getting people to pay for music. And while there’s still some ways to go, the increased visibility of platforms like Spotify means more and more of us will start buying into the idea. After all, $9 a month for access to the world’s most popular music on the go isn’t half bad, right?

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