The Weeknd’s song “Blinding Lights” officially surpassed Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and became the most listened to Spotify song of all time.
The news about the flow change recently appeared in a message on social networks from Chart Data. And at the time of writing this article, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” (2017) had 3,332,970,120 streams on Spotify — now slightly less than “Blinding Lights” (2019) and the 3,334,180,640 streams he scored on the audio entertainment platform. .
31-year-old Ed Sheeran, who last year became the first artist to gain 100 million subscribers on Spotify, at the time of writing this article, apparently has not spoken publicly about this development. But The Weeknd, who wrote a song for the new movie “Avatar” and took one of the first places in the list of the most popular Spotify artists for 2022, celebrated the news on social networks.
“Happy New Year, blinding lights. The most streamed song of all time tonight @Spotify,” wrote the Toronto native, who in a subsequent post drew attention to the rapidly approaching anniversary of the release of Dawn FM.
Besides the fact that “Blinding Lights” ranks first on Spotify’s list of the most popular tracks, it is the newest song to enter the top 10 of the same list, where only two other works (“Dance Monkey” and “Señorita”) were released in 2019.
None of the top 10 songs on the list made it to 2020, 2021 or 2022, although “Stay”, with which Justin Bieber and Kid Lara debuted in July 2021, threatens to displace the aforementioned “Señorita” from 10th place.
It is also worth noting the significant gap in the number of listeners between “Shape of You” and “Blinding Lights”, each of which boasts significantly more streams on Spotify than “Dance Monkey”, which took third place (2.73 billion listens on the platform), and “Someone”, which took fourth place. You Loved” (almost 2.60 billion listens on the platform) and other songs from the list.
Similarly, bands signed to Universal Music Group, which still owns a stake in Spotify, have released six of the 10 most popular songs on the service.
Spotify executives have publicly acknowledged their company’s close collaboration with Universal Music as part of advertising initiatives, and the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in a November 2022 report touched on the far-reaching influence of the “big three” on key playlists curated by the platform.
“Some agreements contain commitments to the music streaming service to ensure that the bulk of the tracks in some playlists generally match its total share of streams,” the CMA explained.
In anticipation of the whole of 2023, it will be interesting to follow the influence of these points, the continuous flow of new music on Spotify and competing services, and, perhaps most importantly, the harmful effect of “songs” created by artificial intelligence. .
Logic and facts suggest that AI “music” may start flooding streaming platforms sooner rather than later, probably spreading through “fake” or “virtual” artist profiles. Of course, this will reduce the already terrifying royalty rates per stream and distract attention from real artists (and real people) who have goods to sell, tours to plan, and careers to build.
However, the emergence of the “fan” royalty model, according to which artists are compensated depending on the actual listening, and not on their share in the constantly inflated stream, seems to represent a relative bright spot in a bleak situation.