Spotify has created its first-ever ranking of the most influential artists under the age of 25. The music streamer looked at #1 hits, volume and growth of streams and shares, as well as viral chart success from the past year. Avicii was #1 on the inaugural list with 1 billion streams on Spotify.
At 24, Avicii has broken almost as many records as heâs spun. The Swedish DJ is Spotifyâs first artist under 25 to cross the one billion streams threshold, and his unforgettable breakout song âWake Me Upâ is our most played track, with more than 240 million streams globally.
Spotify listeners were early adopters of Lordeâs music, sharing her Grammy-winning song âRoyalsâ and adding it to playlists months before it hit the mainstream charts. Lorde is proving to be as enduring as royalty itself; her follow-up track âTeamâ is enjoying a hot streak with more than 80 million streams and counting.
3. Miley Cyrus
Her Bangerz tour might have stalled recently due to illness, but Mileyâs fan base is as healthy as ever. Our listeners stream her music more than 1.5 million times a day â and weâve seen a near 50/50 split between genders for her top two Spotify hits âWrecking Ballâ and âWe Canât Stop.â
4. One Direction
One Directionâs music gets more than one million streams globally every day. And while these heartthrobs make young ladies go weak at the knees, nearly half of listeners of their hit song âStory of My Lifeâ are guys.
5. Taylor Swift
Statuesque, red-lipped, but not tight-lipped, Taylor Swiftâs lyrics read like a young womanâs diary. And according to our US listeners, itâs a diary worth reading again and again. Whether sheâs releasing an album, touring, or plucking her eyebrows, Taylorâs music is steadily streamed about 400,000 times a day in the US (and twice that globally).
6. Jason Derulo
With more than 120 million streams, Jason Deruloâs horn-infused single âTalk Dirtyâ is one of our consistently top performing tracks of the year. Itâs also the Miami nativeâs biggest hit since 2009âs chart-topping dance-pop number âWhatcha Say,â and his latest single âWiggleâ (featuring Snoop Dogg) is currently popping on our US viral chart.
7. Ariana Grande
Itâs easy to see why Ariana Grande gets compared to Mariah Carey â the 20-year-old reaches those tricky high notes effortlessly and her live performances are downright dazzling. Arianaâs first album âYours Trulyâ had a strong debut and her newest song âProblemâ with Iggy Azalea, was an instant hit.
8. Hunter Hayes
His latest track âInvisibleâ has won over listeners with its anti-bullying stance and heartfelt delivery, and he just set the Guinness World Record for the most concerts played in multiple cities in 24 hours. His sophomore album "Storyline" is really resonating with our listeners, and we think Hunter is poised for big things in 2014.
9. Rita Ora
This sassy British powerhouse possesses one of the crispest, awesomest voices in pop music. Signed to Jay Zâs Roc Nation label, Ritaâs new single âI Will Never Let You Down,â was produced by boyfriend Calvin Harris and is gaining traction with our listeners. Weâve seen growing interest in Rita from our US listeners and we expect her sophomore album to take her to the next level later this summer.
10. Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azaleaâs hit âFancyâ blew up on Spotify in the beginning of May and has been our top song going on five weeks now. With more than 37 million streams so far, âFancyâ might just be the song of the summer. At this stage, Iggyâs biggest competition for the title is herself; Ariana Grandeâs song âProblemâ features Iggy and is also one of the hottest songs with our listeners at the moment.
11. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieberâs image has taken a bit of a beating recently, but that doesnât stop our younger listeners from streaming his music like crazy. With close to 800,000 streams daily, no amount of bad press can count Justin out as a musical force. Bieberâs top track on Spotify: âBeauty and a Beatâ (more than 50M streams) followed closely by âAs Long As You Love Me.â
12. Sam Smith
All eyes (and ears) are on UK crooner Sam Smith to be one of the yearâs biggest breakout stars. His April appearance on SNL solidified him as a talent worthy of all the fuss. His falsetto soars, his heart bleeds, and his listener base has been growing steadily on Spotify since the year began.
Birdy might be soft-spoken, but sheâs making a lot of noise. Immensely popular with our US listeners, the 18-year-old singer from Britain won us over with her falsetto take on Bon Iverâs âSkinny Loveâ (more than 50 million streams) a few years ago. Currently touring North America and gearing up for her album âFire Withinâ to be released stateside, Birdy is flying high. Spotify listeners in the US dig Birdyâs âPeople Help the People.â
Buzz has been building for the Compton MC known as YG (or Young Gangsta) since his 2009 hit âToot it And Boot It.â In March, the 24-year-old raised his profile with his major label debut album âMy Krazy Lifeâ which debuted atop the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Spotify listeners in the US are getting behind YGâs Drake-assisted single âWho Do You Love.â
German DJ Anton Zaslavski, better known as Zedd, is classically trained and his bombastic beats rival those of Calvin Harris and Tiesto. He scooped up a Grammy for his track âClarityâ featuring Foxes, and heâs enjoyed rapid success with our listeners with more than 200 million streams in the past two years.
16. Demi Lovato
If you haven't heard singer Demi Lovato's hit song "Neon Lights" yet, you must be living in darkness; the dance-heavy ditty is everywhere and continues to climb on Spotify. Our listeners stream Demi's music about 650,000 times a day and are especially fond of her version of "Let it Go" from the Frozen soundtrack (more than 28 million streams).
17. The Neighbourhood
Donât be fooled by the British spelling; The Neighbourhood is all American all the time. Hailing from Los Angeles, the alt rockers â who also go by The NBHD â have impressed with the hazy song âSweater Weather,â which has been streamed almost 55 million times. The bandâs debut album âI Love Youâ came out a year ago, yet our listeners still stream it steadily in high numbers. We recommend The NBHDâs new song âHonestâ which is featured on âThe Amazing Spiderman 2â soundtrack.
18. Phillip Phillips
Georgia native Phillip Phillips has it all: wholesome good looks, a gorgeously raspy voice, a gentle disposition, and of course the American Idol title from the showâs 11th season. His Idol victory song âHome,â as well as the memorable follow-up âGone, Gone, Gone,â have been streamed about 50 million times. Spotify listeners are loving his newly released sophomore album âBehind the Light.â
19. John Newman
When you think of Motown, Yorkshire, England probably doesnât come to mind â but thatâs where 23-year-old singer John Newman calls home. Inspired by the soul music his mother played for him growing up, Johnâs throwback style has found an audience with our listeners; with more than 70 million streams, his breakout hit âLove Me Againâ is one of Spotifyâs most popular dance songs of the past six months.
Disclosure is the EDM flavor of the moment and Spotify listeners have latched onto the UK producer duo in a big way, streaming dance hit âLatchâ more than 40 million times (the song features vocals from our #12 artist Sam Smith). Weâve also seen a spike in streams in the US since Disclosure appeared at Coachella in April.
21. Earl Sweatshirt
In 2013 the young MC dropped his major label debut album âDoris,â complete with the intensity and impressive wordplay skills that had become his calling card. His most popular song with our listeners is âChumâ (4 million plus streams).
22. Jake Bugg
Jakeâs throwback sound is distinctly Dylan-esque, with shades of The Beatles and Neil Young. Itâs perhaps not surprising that this 20-year-old appeals to older fans â we see strong interest from our listeners in their 30s and 40s. His top song, âLightning Bolt,â has 10M plus streams.
Long-haired Irish troubadour Hozier (pronounced ho-zee-er) has been a mainstay on our viral chart in the US all year thanks to his powerful song âTake Me to Church.â With his deep, bluesy voice, Hozierâs performance was one of the highlights at the Spotify House during SXSW.
24. Joey Bada$$
Brooklyn MC Joey Bada$$ rose through the ranks with a gritty video for the song âSurvival Tacticsâ and a highly praised mixtape called â1999.â Tracks from Joeyâs 2013 debut album âSummer Knightsâ graced our viral chart in the US and our listeners especially dig âWaves,â which has enjoyed more than two million streams.
25. Sky Ferreira
Sky Ferreira is a singer-songwriter, model and straight-shooter. She also dared to bare her naked bod on the cover of her debut album, âNight Time, My Time,â which generated the 80s-tinged âEverything Is Embarrassing.â Our listeners in the UK and Australia dig Sky, and so does Miley Cyrus, who invited Sky on her Bangerz Tour as an opening act.
Listen to Spotify's Top 25 Under 25 playlist.
With insights from Spotify Trends Expert Shanon Cook