Spotify: Irish streaming charts for 2018 revealed
Rap artists Drake, Eminem and Post Malone among the artists Irish Spotify users listen to the most
Drake was most-streamed artist in Ireland and globally. Photograph: Harmony Gerber/Getty
Ireland’s love affair with rap continued in 2018 with Drake, Post Malone and Eminem the most-streamed artists of the year among Irish users of Spotify.
Drake took the top spot, followed by Post Malone, Ed Sheeran, Eminem and Khalid, figures provided to The Irish Times by Spotify show. The most-streamed Irish artist in Ireland was Picture This, whose biggest hit, Take My Hand, has been listened to more than 10 million times.
The most-streamed tracks among Irish Spotify listeners were God’s Plan by Drake, Shotgun by George Ezra, One Kiss by Dua Lipa and Calvin Harris, These Days by Macklemore, Jess Glynne, Rudimental and Dan Caplen, and Anne-Marie’s 2002.
The most-streamed albums in Ireland, meanwhile, were Drake’s Scorpion, Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys, Dua Lipa’s Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran’s ÷ and Anne-Marie’s Speak Your Mind.
Spotify's global top tracks for 2018
The popularity of rap will come as little surprise. Kendrick Lamar headlined the opening night of Electric Picnic in September. And last summer’s Longitude festival had huge success with an all hip-hop and r ‘n’b lineup.
Irish tastes are broadly in-line with international trends. Drake and Post Malone were the most-streamed global artists on Spotify, where third place was taken by XXXTntacion, a controversial rapper with a history of domestic violence who was shot dead at age 20 at a motorcycle dealership in Florida last June.
Imagine Dragons are the most popular band internationally on Spotify, followed by K-Pop group BTS, Maroon 5, Migos and Coldplay. The most-listened-to album globally was Drake’s Scorpion. In total his tracks were streamed 8.2 billion times in 2018.
The figures bear out the theory that Spotify’s user base skews towards teenagers and those in their 20s. While Drake topped the Spotify charts, the most popular LP on the rival Apple Music service was the soundtrack to the Hugh Jackman musical The Greatest Showman. Spotify has 90 million “freemium” users and 71 million subscribers, who have ad-free access to its catalogue of 35 million songs. It launched in Ireland in 2012.
What was striking about the 2018 countdown is how unrepresented Irish artists were among its loftier echelons. The most-streamed Irish performers across the world in 2018 were U2, Niall Horan, The Script, Hozier and The Cranberries, back in the spotlight following the tragic death in January of Dolores O’Riordan.
However none of these artists will have caused Drake et al any sleepless nights. Contrast the 900 million plays clocked up by Hozier with his 2014 break-out single Take Me To Church – the most-shared track on Spotify that year – against the comparatively underwhelming 5.6 million achieved to date by his latest single Movement (which places him in the same category as Cliff Richard and the 5.5 million hits clocked up for a remix of Devil Woman). If the Spotify charts are any guide, he should probably consider cutting his hair and becoming a rapper.