In 2018, Filipinos Listened to a Lot of Ed Sheeran, Moira de la Torre, and LANY

Ed Sheeran also occupies a top spot in the global rankings (again).

Remember the good old days when the best measure of a musician’s success is through record sales? Today, it’s getting harder to tell just how big an artist is. Do you go by how high their single or album charted on a tracking service like Billboard? Is it through ticket sales of their live shows? How about by how many streams their records have gotten on platforms like Apple Music, Tidal or Spotify?

For sure, streaming is the dominant medium by which most people get their music in this day and age. According to Statista, global revenue from streaming reached about $9.8 billion this year and is projected to grow by around 4.5 percent annually to reach $12.3 billion in 2023.

Spotify, in particular, has been steadily gaining ground as one of the most popular music streaming apps in the world. It’s right up there with the likes of Apple Music, Soundcloud, Pandora and Google Play Music.

As a reward for all the Big Data we've been feeding the music streaming giant, Spotify has made it a tradition to come up with lists of its most streamed songs and artists during the close of every year. If that were the basis, then we have a pretty good idea who the biggest music superstars are on the planet today.

Spotify Global Top Streaming Artists

Canadian hip-hop and rap artist Drake racked up 8.2 billion streams to become the most streamed artist on Spotify this year. Runners-up are Post Malone, XXXTENTACION, J Balvin and Ed Sheeran, who was the most-streamed artist in 2017.


If you notice, all of the most streamed artists globally are men.

Crossing the gender divide, topping the most-streamed female artists list is Ariana Grande, who Spotify says has over 48 million monthly listeners. Grande also set a new record in the platform when her hit "Thank U, Next” became the fastest track in history to reach 100 million streams, accomplishing the feat in just 11 days. Her songs have now been streamed over three billion times this year, according to Spotify.

The rest of the ladies in the top five include Dua Lipa, Cardi B, Taylor Swift and Camilla Cabello.

Topping the list of most-streamed groups, which Spotify defines as having three or more members, is Imagine Dragons, followed by BTS, Maroon 5, Migos and Coldplay.

For Filipino Listeners, it's Moira de la Torre and Some Foreign Acts

Besides information on global listening habits, Spotify also provides separate data on the most streamed songs and artists locally, giving us a glimpse of what Filipinos’ current music tastes are like.

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In the Philippines, the most-streamed artists on the platform this 2018 is pop trio LANY. It probably helped that the group came back to do two sold-out shows in Manila last April. Local singer Moira Dela Torre came in at number 2, followed by Ed Sheeran, BTS and Maroon 5.

As for local artists, the top five includes Moira Dela Torre, December Avenue, Ben&Ben, Parokya Ni Edgar and IV of Spades. It’s interesting that only Parokya ni Edgar are what you would call veterans in the business, while the rest are all relative newcomers. 

Meanwhile, the most-streamed tracks in the country this year are “Mundo” by IV of Spades, “Kathang Isip” by Ben&Ben, “IDGAF” by Dua Lipa, “Tagpuan” by Moira Dela Torre and the Middle by Zedd, Marne Morris and Grey.

As always, Spotify provides a summary of each individual subscriber’s listening habits for the year—which artist we listened to the most, our top songs, albums and genres. It’s yet another example how data can be used to find out what kind of person we are based on who and what we listen to.


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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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