Drake has stormed the streaming throne.
In a domain devoid of industry titans such as Taylor Swift and Adele, the Canadian rapper has just been named Spotify’s most-streamed artist of 2015, with more than 1.8 billion spins -- followed closely behind by Ed Sheeran, The Weeknd, Maroon 5 and Kanye West. Sheeran, who was last year’s winner, is still Spotify’s most-streamed artist of all time, the company said.
The list is conspicuously lacking any female musicians, though this is likely due to the fact that Swift and Adele yanked their most recent releases from Spotify -- which counts 20 million paying subscribers and 75 million users of the ad-supported version of the service -- in a bid to drive up physical album sales.
The year’s most-streamed female artist is Rihanna, who tapped out at just over 1 billion streams -- a notable accomplishment since she didn’t release a new album this year. Rihanna is trailed by Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé and Ellie Goulding.
The year’s most-streamed song is "Lean On" by Major Lazer and DJ Snake (feat. MØ), Spotify said, while June 19 was -- rather randomly -- the biggest day in 2015 for overall music streaming.
As the most popular paid streaming service in the world (Pandora has more total users at 80 million, but only 4 million paying subscribers), Spotify has every reason to celebrate a booming 2015 -- though the glaring holdouts from Swift and Adele are undoubtedly thorns in its side in terms of potential revenue losses and bad PR.
While Swift has said in the past that she objects to free streaming, Adele has remained mum on why she chose to remove 25, her new album, from Spotify. Nevertheless, the move was a prescient one: 25 went on to sell a staggering 3.4 million copies in its first week -- the largest number since Nielsen began tracking the figure in 1991.