Long gone are the days of records and CDs. Even buying music online to download is increasingly a thing of the past. More and more, today’s music fans are relying on streaming to listen to their favorite tunes. Streaming music accounted for three-quarters of the music industry’s revenue in the first half on 2018. And the use of streaming is likely to expand even more because of the ease of use and access to a large variety of music.
Spotify – the world’s most popular streaming service – currently hosts over 40 million songs, available to 191 million users. For a musician’s work, therefore, to be among the most streamed is quite a feat.
24/7 Wall St. has identified the most streamed hit songs of 2018. These are the songs that charted this year on the Billboard Hot 100 – which considers streaming, sales, and radio play – and outshined the competition in 2018 with the most streams on Spotify.
The majority of the year’s most streamed songs belong to the R&B/hip hop music style. R&B/hip hop surpassed rock as the most dominant genre last year, and it has sustained its popularity. Drake – who eclipsed The Beatles this October to become the artist with the most top 10 hits in a single year – performs four of the most streamed songs. XXXTentacion – the 20-year-old rapper who was murdered this past June – has five songs. Four of these tracks had their highest rates of streaming in one of the two weeks following the artist’s death.
While many of the most streamed songs also reached No. 1 on the charts this year, not all did. XXXTentacion’s “Everybody Dies In Their Nightmares” only peaked at No. 42. Rapper and singer Juice WRLD’s “All Girls Are the Same” peaked at No. 41. Yet both of these tracks had more than 100 million plays on Spotify this year.
To determine the most streamed songs of 2018, 24/7 Wall St. identified the songs that had the most streams on Spotify within the United States in 2018. This was done by combining all of the weekly streams a song had when it was ranked among Spotify’s Top 200 most played weekly tracks. Any streams that occurred when a song was not ranked among the service’s top 200 tracks were not included. All songs had to appear on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart at least once in 2018 to be considered.