The 'Hotline Bling' rapper topped reigning champ Ed Sheeran.
Spotify continued to beef up in 2015, adding functionalities to find new music and track local concerts. The platform became the go-to streaming service for the likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. As the massive year for Spotify — and the music streaming business in general — draws to a close, the company has shared its Year In Music feature to show exactly what its larger-than-ever user base listened to in 2015.
Drake was the most-streamed artist globally on Spotify, racking up 1.8 billion streams from 46 million listeners — and obliterating the 860 million streams that earned Ed Sheeran the top spot last year. Sheeran stayed popular, though, maintaining his designation as Spotify’s most-streamed artist of all-time. He came in second to Drake worldwide in 2015. The Weeknd, Maroon 5, and Kanye West rounded out the top five global artists.
Some of the year’s most buzzed about artists also topped Spotify’s various lists. Justin Bieber set a Spotify record for single-day streams on Spotify when his tracks were played 36 million times on Nov. 13, the day he released his most recent album Purpose. Users played “Lean On,” the collaboration between Mø, DJ Snake, and Major Lazer, a staggering 540 million times making it the most-streamed song on Spotify this year — and ever. The Weeknd’s dark pop album Beauty Behind The Madness was the most-streamed album of the year globally, edging out Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and Major Lazer’s Peace Is The Mission (which includes “Lean On”).
In other categories, Rihanna won big, even though we’re still waiting on Anti. She was the most-streamed female artist globally, topping a list that also includes Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, and Ellie Goulding. Norwegian producer Kygo became the first Spotlight artist to hit 1 billion streams, earning him the designation of breakout artist of the year. And if June 19 seemed particularly musical, that’s because it was the day in 2015 with the most Spotify streams.
Spotify also shared American-specific winners, and the results varied stateside. Drake still reigned supreme as the most-streamed artist — and also beat out Beauty Behind The Madness with If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. While “Lean On” was the most-streamed track globally, it was only fifth in the U.S., coming in behind The Weeknd’s “The Hills” and “Earned It,” Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk,” and the most-streamed track in America, Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen.” Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé both beat out Rihanna on the list of the most-streamed female artists in the States.