Streaming giant Spotify just lifted the curtain on the list of most streamed artists, songs, and albums of all time through their platform. The service was shot to stardom for its ease of use, access to massive amounts of music across many different genres, and ability to listen in, wherever you go. The service is now celebrating 10 years of business. In order to commemorate this milestone, they are showing to the world this tell-tale list.
Ed Sheeran – “Shape Of You’”
Drake – “One Dance”
The Chainsmokers – “Closer” f/ Halsey
Post Malone – “Rockstar” f/ 21 Savage
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Major Lazer and DJ Snake – “Lean On” f/ MØ
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee – “Despacito” (Remix) f/ Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber – “Love Yourself”
Justin Bieber – “Sorry”
The Chainsmokers – “Don’t Let Me Down”
Ed Sheeran – ÷
Justin Bieber – Purpose
Drake – Views
Ed Sheeran – x
Post Malone – beerbongs & bentleys
The Weeknd – Starboy
Drake – Scorpion
The Weeknd – Beauty Behind The Madness
Post Malone – Stoney
Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
Recognize a few of these? It would be hard not to. Artists like Drake, Post Malone, and Ed Sheeran are known the world over. The list reflects many interesting tenets about the current state of music. Just like the Pareto principle illustrates, an overwhelming majority of the most streamed songs and albums belong to an tiny percent of all the active artists today. It is a winner take all industry and this list from Spotify goes to show it. The list of top streamed artists does not equitably represent the 40,000,000 or so songs that Spotify houses (this is not to say it should). Power law distributions show us how in many cases, it is a small fraction of the constituents that own, hold, and produce majority of the goods and services. Clearly the music industry is no different.