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Chartmetric's 2018 Wrap-Up: Weekly Winners & Pop Stars

1Tis the season for end of year wraps, and Chartmetric is digging into data across the major streaming platforms to bring you a comprehensive look at some of 2018's biggest standout hits.

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Guest post by Jason Joven of Chartmetric

Chartmetric data as of Dec 12, 2018

Right about now, you’re likely digging through your personalized “2018 Wrapped” playlists on Spotify (it’s in the Genres & Moods section), flipping through Billboard’s “Best Songs of 2018”, or otherwise taking stock of your 2018 resolutions and if you indeed actually went to the gym more.

We hope you did.

But if you didn’t, here’s what you can play when you hit the treadmill!

Removing duplicates and still counting “first billing” (the main artist) remixes, we’ve gone through 2018's biggest “new music” playlists on Spotify (“New Music Friday” or NMF) and Apple Music (“Best of the Week”), as well as their pop music flagships, “Today’s Top Hits” and “Today’s Hits”, respectively.

We pulled out the artists with the most unique track appearances on each list to see who’s been promoted the strongest this year, so enjoy Chartmetric’s 2018 wrap-up!

Note: Apple Music has no “global” storefront, and their playlists have different versions, with the same name, localized to the user’s country. Meanwhile, Spotify has some playlists that are not explicitly localized (such as the two in this article), and when localizing their playlists, they have different names. So when we use “global” below for Apple Music, this means we are aggregating across all of Best of the Week and Today’s Hits editions worldwide.

Dutch DJ/Producer R3HAB has ruled 2018’s “new music” playlists to Drake-like proportions with 35 appearances across both platforms. Here is “Rumors”, which positioned at #58 on Aug 24 2018 in Spotify’s NMF playlist for 7 days.

Spotify — New Music Friday appearances

    1. R3HAB (13): Highest position was the low-tempo, EDM-polished “The Wave” at #7 on the Feb 9 edition of NMF, with the vocal assist from Lia Marie Johnson.
    2. Troye Sivan (10): Hit #2 in the Jan 12 NMF with “My My My!”, starting the year off with an uplifting electronic pop tune (see highlight below.)
    3. 6ix9ineThe ChainsmokersCheat CodesDiploMarshmelloShawn MendesRuss, YoungBoy Never Broke Again (9): New Jersey’s Russ captured a #3 position with the nostalgia-tinged ode to an old love “Missin You Crazy” (Sept 7).
British trio Clean Bandit made 17 appearances on Apple Music’s Best of the Week in 2018, including one of their biggest commercial successes this year, the Demi Lovato-powered “Solo”.

Apple Music — Best of the Week (global) appearances

  1. R3HAB (22): Placed a #15 spot on the May 4 US-edition with the electro-pop “Hold On Tight” with Brighton-born UK artist Conor Maynard.
  2. Luke ChristopherClean BanditMoby (17): The Cambridge, UK trio Clean Bandit have used their classical influences to their advantage in the electronic music world, placing in 137 other Apple Music playlists with “Solo” featuring Demi Lovato. For Best of the Week, they placed in nine South Asian countries with the reggae-influenced electro-pop track for 21 days during the May-July summer 2018 period.
  3. Steve AokiMartin GarrixRussSambôYoungBoy Never Broke Again(15): The punk-rocker-turned-mega-producer Steve Aoki captured a #1 Best of the Week placement in Romania’s Nov 9 edition with “Anything More (feat. Era Istrefi)”, while scoring 14 other placements with guest artists from Blink-182 to BTS in Best of the Week versions across the world.
To no surprise, Canadian rapper Drake leads the pack on the biggest “pop” playlists, including one of 2018’s biggest singles, “God’s Plan”.

Spotify — Today’s Top Hits appearances

  1. Drake (9): While his Scorpion album Spotify promotion might have been too much for some, the Toronto rapper nevertheless had a 108-day-long stay on Today’s Top Hits from Jan 20th to May 8th with one of the year’s biggest anthems, “God’s Plan”.
  2. The ChainsmokersShawn Mendes (6): Fellow Canadian Shawn Mendes made appearances in three of this article’s playlists, and peaked at #24 on Today’s Top Hits with the flirty “Nervous” on May 25th for 28 days.
  3. Khalid (5): American military brat & soulful crooner Khalid peaked this year at #22 on Valentine’s Day 2018 with “The Ways (with Swae Lee)”, riding the wave of the Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther” on the original movie soundtrack.
Colombian artist J Balvin made 12 appearances in Apple Music’s Today’s Hits. Here is with “Machika”, released at the top of 2018 along with Brazil’s Anitta and Aruba’s Jeon.

Apple Music — Today’s Hits appearances (global)

  1. Drake (14): Drake also dropped “In My Feelings” in 2018, which led at #1 in four MENA territories (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon) for four days beginning on July 28th.
  2. J Balvin (12): “Machika” is the Colombian reggaeton artist’s pan-LatAm banger with Anitta from Brazil and Jeon from Aruba. It peaked at #27 in the Spain Today’s Hits storefront upon its Jan 19 release, and ruled much of the playlist’s Latin America editions, staying in Mexico’s in particular for 89 days.
  3. Shawn MendesPost Malone (11): Dallas-bred rapper Post Malone ran strong in 2018 with 11 Today’s Hits placements, including the chilled-out “Psycho (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)” which peaked at #7 on the Canadian and Taiwanese editions.
Troye Sivan’s “My My My!” kicked off his 2018 in a big way.

While the big names like Colombia’s J Balvin or USA’s The Chainsmokers are hardly new, what may be surprising is South African-born, Australia-bred artist Troye Sivan.

He’s just had a stellar year, backed by a viral following that echoes that of K-pop sensation BTS. In the Chartmetric chart below, you’ll see strong spikes from his very reactive fanbase. In Sivan’s case, there are five significant events with impressive event decay in 2018. While this might be expected whenever an artist releases material, one would be surprised that such strong fan reactions can sometimes be absent from even the most epic-level artists.

Sivan accumulated 3.3M+ YouTube Views upon his “My My My!” release in January, totaling to 492M+ in Dec 2018.

It’s a testament to the digitally-native career Sivan has had, one where he has been unafraid to come out online or get his legs waxed. It’s obviously had an effect on his fans, and one that’s easily seen in the data.

If you’d like to dive into all of this data yourself, knock yourself out with this Google Sheet!

We sincerely hope you’ve had a wonderfully musical 2018, and as we all begin to head into the full-on holiday mode, we also hope that Chartmetric has been of great service to you, if you’re a present client. If not, there’s always 2019 :)

From our family to yours, here’s to a reflective end of 2018 and a huge well-wishing for 2019! When you’re ready to ramp up for the spring music season, we’ll be here ready to serve.

Want to send us some New Year’s resolutions? Message us at hi (at) chartmetric (dot) io!

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