The most streamed music of 2014

US musician Pharrell Williams dominates both local and international streaming platforms. (Reuters)

US musician Pharrell Williams dominates both local and international streaming platforms. (Reuters)

Digital music services such as Spotify, Pandora, Grooveshark and Google Play Music All Access, have given consumers more control over what they listen to and when. 

With ever expanding music catalogues, music lovers can listen to their favourite artist, create playlists, stream songs from the radio, and create custom radio stations based on preferred genres or artists. With this advanced way for music to reach millions of people across the globe, a good mix and variety of music and genres are floating up to the top of the chart. Still, Pharrell Williams has proven to be a crowd pleaser both on- and off-line, the world over.

Local music subscription service Simfy Africa that allows listeners to stream music online recently released a list of the most popular tracks, albums and artists of 2014, based on its users’ “listening choices”. 

It currently has a catalogue of more 27-million songs that are accessible on your desktop, smartphone or tablet whether you’re connected or not.   The local song of the year title went to Pluto (Remember You) by DJ Clock featuring Beatenberg. 

The hit-song received massive radio plays in 2014 and topped the charts all across South Africa, charts on Metro FM, 5FM, MTV Base, among others. It was also nominated for a 2014 Channel O Music Video award for the most gifted duo/group or featuring and a 2014 MTV Africa Music award for song of the year.  

Producer and singer Pharrell Williams’ song smash hit “Happy” is Simfy Africa’s international song of the year. SA Artist of the Year went to Cape Town-based modern folk musician, Jeremy Loops. Loops made his presence felt this year, releasing his debut album Trading Change, which debuted on the number one spot on iTunes in South Africa and releasing the video for his single Sinner. 

“I am a huge proponent for online streaming services and getting music to the people. It’s important. So it is such an honour to get this recognition from Simfy Africa, who were the first true streaming service in South Africa. Thank you!” said Loops in a press release by Simfy Africa. 

International Artist of the Year went to All Of Me hitmaker, John Legend. The international R&B singer performed in South Africa last month. The demand was so great, that the organisers of Legend’s show added more nights to his SA tour.

Top honours also went to the following: 

  • Album of the Year – The Kiffness for The Kiff 
  • International Album of Year – Sam Smith for In The Lonely Hour 
  • Breakthrough Artist of the Year – Matthew Mole 
  • The best Remix of the Year – Robin Schulz 
  • Remix of Waves by Mr Probz 
  • Local artists to watch in 2015 – Monark and The Soil 
  • International artist to watch in 2015 – Royal Blood

According to Simfy, popular playlists feature local words such as Africa, Braai, Madiba, 80s, 90s and even lekker. “Exercise is a popular theme in playlists with topics such as run, gym, power, yoga and more.” 

According to reports by the Guardian, playlists on Spotify that were titled “happy”, were quite popular and were streamed on repeat on May 30 this year. Spotify also released a list in October of the most streamed musicians in the world. The Guardian quoted Steve Savoca, the head of content at Spotify, who said: “This has been a phenomenal year for a rich variety of amazing artists on Spotify. Over 50m dedicated music fans listened to more than 7bnlistening hours in 2014 alone.”

Spotify’s results were as follows: 

  • The most streamed global artist 2014 – Ed Sheeran 
  • The most streamed global female – Katy Perry 
  • The most streamed global group – Coldplay 
  • The most streamed song globally – Happy by Pharrell Williams 
  • The most viral track globally – Take Me to Church by Hozier
Katlego Mkhwanazi

Katlego Mkhwanazi

Katlego Mkhwanazi is the Mail & Guardian's arts, culture and entertainment content producer. She started her career in magazines, before joining the Mail & Guardian team in 2014. She is an entertainer at heart. Read more from Katlego Mkhwanazi

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