Entertainment

Ed Sheeran is Spotify's most streamed artist in the world

Spotify released its list of the most streamed artists of the year on Wednesday, and Ariana Grande was the artist of choice in Canada while singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was the most streamed artist worldwide.

'Most streamed' list released same day Billboard adds streaming to chart formula

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is the year's most streamed artist on Spotify, while Eminem tops the list in the United States and Ariana Grande takes the top spot in Canada. ( Joel Ryan/Invision/Associated Press)

Spotify released its list of the most streamed artists of the year on Wednesday, and Ariana Grande was the artist of choice in Canada. Blame by Calvin Harris was the most streamed track and x by singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was the most streamed album.

Worldwide, Ed Sheeran is the year's most streamed artist on Spotify, while Eminem tops the list in the United States.

Spotify announced its top streaming artists, albums and songs of 2014 on Wednesday. Pharrell's ubiquitous Happy was the most streamed song of the year globally.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were the most streamed artists on Spotify in 2013.

Sheeran racked up more than 860 million listens on Spotify. His latest album, x, is the most steamed album worldwide with 430 million streams.

Katy Perry and Coldplay were the most streamed female and group around the world, respectively.

In the United States, Iggy Azalea's Fancy was the most streamed song of the year. Her album, The New Classic, was the second most streamed album in America behind Sheeran's x.
Spotify's list comes out on the same day that the Billboard 200 launches its updated ranking system to include streaming and digital track sales. (Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters)

However, Avicii's Wake Me Up still holds the position for the single most frequently played track in Spotify history, with more than 300 million streams, the Stockholm-based service said. Hozier's Take Me to Church, currently No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, was the most viral track globally and in the U.S.

Billboard adds streaming

Spotify's list was released on the same day that the Billboard 200, tracking each week's album sales, launched its updated ranking system to include streaming and digital track sales, to better measure album sales and provide a more comprehensive sense of an albums's popularity.

It marks the biggest update since 1991, when Nielsen's point-of-sale data was added to measure album sales.

Spotify, which provides free on-demand music, or ad-free tunes for paying customers, has been in the spotlight in recent months after American singer Taylor Swift pulled her entire catalogue from the service.

The streaming service was founded in 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. Its founders say they have paid out $2 billion in royalties to the industry and artists since its launch in 2008.

Spotify said more than seven billion hours of music was streamed this year by more than 50 million users. It will reward listeners this month by offering new U.S. users a premium, three-month membership for 99 cents.

With files from CBC News and Reuters

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