Britain has always had a surprisingly productive music industry, at least compared relatively by population with the United States. Things aren't at British Invasion-era levels (and Sweden is perhaps even more impressive from a population-to-hit ratio) but the Brits have found a new way to stay relevant: Streaming. New numbers from BPI indicate that nearly 20 percent of all music streamed via major services such as Spotify is from a UK performer. Among those adding to the high total are Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Calvin Harris.
Sheeran set a record with his album x when it debuted during June, when it was streamed more than any other record in history during its first week, getting nearly 24 million plays. Harris also had high weekly totals for his single "Blame," which became the first song to get 10 million streams in one week. Coldplay's Ghost Stories has simply been the highest-selling album to debut during 2014 and it's reasonably gathered plenty of stream to accompany that. Clean Bandit has the most streamed song of the year thus far in "Rather Be" (32 million streams so far) while Sam Smith and One Direction are always popular options. Smith has two songs in the Top 10 for streaming, with "Stay With Me" and "Money On My Mind." Bastille also cracks the Top 10 with "Pompeii."
The real reason why streams are so high across the pond right now? People across the pond are taking to streaming much more than they did one year ago. This year's stream-count comes to 10.2 billion tracks for 2014, while in 2013 at the same time only 5.4 billion tracks had been streamed.
Check out the full Top 10 of most streamed songs at Billboard.com.