It’s the time of year when the digital music platforms reveal their biggest tunes and artists of the year, which in 2017 involves a good deal of consensus around Ed Sheeran - despite that Grammys snub.
His single Shape Of You, which currently has 3,171,246 sales in the UK, according to the Official Charts Company, was a global smash. Apple Music and iTunes in the UK named it as their biggest song of the year, following Spotify’s announcement that it had racked up 1.4 billion streams globally. Castle On The Hill and Galway Girl were also big on Apple and Spotify.
For good measure, Shazam revealed Shape Of You as its biggest song of the year, while YouTube had Sheeran’s appearance on Carpool Karaoke at the top of the UK Trending Video list and Shape Of You at No.1 on the UK Trending Music Video rundown.
But there were also signs of music discovery for new and emerging acts – and genres – as streaming opened up a global audience for a range of artists.
“The K Pop and Latin Trap scenes caught hold in Apple Music, and we’re seeing more than ever how streaming is putting great music on the world's stage,” said Zane Lowe, Beats 1 creative director and host.
Despacito is comfortably the most viewed YouTube with views passing 4.4 billion, and the platform is strengthening its grip – despite concerns in the biz about the value gap – with music videos earning views faster than ever in 2017.
Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do set the record for 24-hour views, earning 43.2 million hits in its first day. Among the Top 10 debuts on YouTube in the platform’s history, seven were released this year.
YouTube’s stats also reveal the rise of Latin music with 45 of the top 100 most viewed music videos on YouTube this year featuring Latin artists.
Rag’N’Bone Man’s Human was Apple Music and iTunes second-biggest album of the year in the UK, alongside albums by Drake, Little Mix, The Weeknd and Stormzy. While compilation sales may be down, Apple still included four in its Top 10: Now! That’s What I Call Music 95, 96, 97 and the Christmas edition
Shazam’s Top 15 of the year is a more eclectic mix of established names and rising stars, including Clean Bandit, Charlie Puth, J Balvin and Willy William, Harry Styles, Burak Yeter, Ofenbach and Portugal The Man.