Yesterday Ed Sheeran made news when his album X cracked one million sales in the UK and today, partially thanks to his popularity in Europe, the pop star was named the most streamed performer of the year by Spotify. Sheeran amassed more than 860 million listens across all of the streaming service's markets. If Spotify's reports on pay rates are accurate, that means the performer should have brought in nearly $7.25 million in revenues from Spotify this year (before labels take their cut). According to Billboard, almost exactly half of those streams were for X.
Despite his obvious international appeal, Sheeran still has a while to go before he's the top artist in Spotify's biggest market, the United States. Eminem was the most streamed performer of the year in our neck of the woods. It's easy to suggest that Taylor Swift's decision to remove her catalogue from Spotify may have swayed the numbers but it's highly unlikely that such a recent move on Swift's part would have actually led to her cracking the Top 5. The rapper ended up finishing second overall worldwide.
The lists for the world as a whole and the United States indicate interesting trends in listening. America obviously loves its hip-hop-with Eminem, Drake and Kanye West taking the top spots-while Europe's no. 3, 4 and 5 spots belong to electronic dance stars (Calvin Harris, Avicii and David Guetta, respectively).
Pharrell Williams takes the prize for the most streamed song of the year, as "Happy" was the most streamed song worldwide (numbers weren't provided). Iggy Azalea hosted the most streamed U.S. song with "Fancy."