The music licensing company's annual Most Played Charts highlight which tracks have been played the most by broadcasters and in public by businesses and organisations across the UK. It was published today to coincide with the company's AGM.
Sheeran, who was followed in the chart by Calvin Harris, Little Mix, Rita Ora and Coldplay, also held the top spot in 2017 and 2015. The singer has been in the Top 5 most played artists five times since his first album was released in 2011.
Portugal The Man’s Feel It Still was 2018's most played track, ahead of These Days by Rudimental feat. Jess Glynne, Macklemore & Dan Caplen, For You (Fifty Shades Freed) by Liam Payne & Rita Ora, One Kiss by Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa and Shotgun by George Ezra.
Nine out of 10 most played artists are British, while seven of the Top 10 songs include UK talent – with women making up the majority of Top 10 most played artists for the first time ever.
Peter Leathem, CEO of PPL, said: “Radio, TV and public performance usage is a significant indicator of the most played music in the country, so PPL is pleased to report a successful 2018 for home-grown UK talent. Ed Sheeran again keeps his place as most played artist, but other performers like Calvin Harris and Little Mix have also held their 2017 Top 5 spots, helping UK music come out on top.
"Congratulations is also due to Portugal. The Man for their chart topping ‘Feel It Still’, and to all the other artists that made it into our top ten charts. It was a fantastic year for music and we wish all artists and rightsholders a successful 2019.”
Pink's What About Us made it in to the Top 10 for the second year in a row, a feat that has only ever been achieved once before, by Maroon 5's Moves Like Jagger in 2011 and 2012.
PPL’s 2018 financial results show a record-breaking revenue of £246.8 million and 105,192 performers and recording rightsholders paid – the first time PPL has paid over 100,000 performers and recording rightsholders in a single year.
PPL’s Annual Most Played Artist Charts 2018
1. Ed Sheeran
2. Calvin Harris
3. Little Mix
4. Rita Ora
7. Clean Bandit
8. Dua Lipa
9. George Ezra
10. Jess Glynne
PPL’s Annual Most Played Track Chart 2018
1. Feel It Still – Portugal The Man (Atlantic – Warner Music)
2. These Days (feat. Jess Glynne, Macklemore & Dan Caplen) – Rudimental (Asylum – Warner Music)
3. For You (Fifty Shades Freed) – Liam Payne & Rita Ora (Capitol – Universal Music)
4. One Kiss – Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa (Columbia – Sony Music Entertainment)
5. Shotgun – George Ezra (Columbia – Sony Music Entertainment)
6. Lullaby – Sigala & Paloma Faith (Ministry Of Sound – Sony Music Entertainment)
7. Anywhere – Rita Ora (Atlantic – Warner Music)
8. Flames – David Guetta & Sia (Parlophone – Warner Music)
9. Paradise – George Ezra (Columbia – Sony Music Entertainment)
10. What About Us – Pink (RCA – Sony Music Entertainment)