Streaming continues to rise in the UK with audio streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer seeing over 90 billion plays in the UK last year - an increase of 34% on 2017’s total. The UK now regularly sees over 2 billion streams per week, spanning brand new hits and lots of classics.
Last year’s releases make up just under a quarter of the total, while 2017 tracks like This Is Me from the Greatest Showman and Perfect by Ed Sheeran accounted for 20% of the total streams last year.
Unsurprisingly, Christmas songs have huge appeal to the streaming masses; half of the most played songs this decade from between 1940-present were festive songs including Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, released in 1994 and racking up 39m listens last year – the most of any Christmas song.
57% of music streaming last year came from tracks released before 2016. More than 500 songs released in this time picked up over 10m plays. Bruno Mars’ 2016 single Finesse clocked up the most listens of any song from 2010-2016 with 54.7m plays, thanks to a remix featuring rapper Cardi B released in January 2018.
Meanwhile, tracks like Naive by The Kooks - ranked 2006's most-streamed single for a third year now - show signs of being potential cult classics.
Other singles that hold the title as the most streamed song of their year of release are TLC's No Scrubs (1999), Africa by Toto (1982) and Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991).
Meanwhile, film soundtracks are proving more popular than ever with rock legends Queen in particular feeling the benefits. Following the release of their biopic Bohemian Rhapsody the band saw a huge lift in streams, with nine of the band's songs reaching the Top 1000 in 2018 compared to just four in 2017.
Don’t Stop Me Now was the most streamed single released in 1978 with 25.4 million listens, and Bohemian Rhapsody was the most played track from the 1970s overall with 29.8m.
Mr Brightside by The Killers continues to be the biggest track released in the 2000s, placing at Number 75 overall. The 2003 single peaked at Number 10 on the Official Singles Chart following its re-release in 2004, but thanks to its cult status still regularly dips in and out of the Singles Chart Top 100.
The research behind the list was conducted by the BPI, with tracks allocated to the year they were initially released, whether as a single or as an album track.
Check out the complete list of the most streamed songs of 2018 by year of release, compiled by the BPI using Official Charts Company data:
|2017||THIS IS ME||KEALA SETTLE/GREATEST SHOWMAN CAST|
|2014||THINKING OUT LOUD||ED SHEERAN|
|2012||LET HER GO||PASSENGER|
|2011||CAN'T HOLD US||MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS|
|2010||PUMPED UP KICKS||FOSTER THE PEOPLE|
|2009||PARTY IN THE USA||MILEY CYRUS|
|2008||I'M YOURS||JASON MRAZ|
|2007||FLUORESCENT ADOLESCENT||ARCTIC MONKEYS|
|2005||GOLD DIGGER||KANYE WEST FT JAMIE FOXX|
|2004||LET ME LOVE YOU||MARIO|
|2003||MR BRIGHTSIDE||THE KILLERS|
|2001||HOW YOU REMIND ME||NICKELBACK|
|2000||IN THE END||LINKIN PARK|
|1998||IRIS||GOO GOO DOLLS|
|1997||BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY||THE VERVE|
|1996||NO DIGGITY||BLACKSTREET FT DR DRE|
|1994||ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU||MARIAH CAREY|
|1991||SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT||NIRVANA|
|1989||WATERFALL||THE STONE ROSES|
|1988||FAST CAR||TRACY CHAPMAN|
|1987||FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK||THE POGUES FT KIRSTY MACCOLL|
|1986||DRIVING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS||CHRIS REA|
|1985||MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE||SHAKIN' STEVENS|
|1983||SWEET DREAMS (ARE MADE OF THIS)||EURYTHMICS|
|1981||DON'T STOP BELIEVIN'||JOURNEY|
|1980||YOU MAKE MY DREAMS||DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES|
|1979||WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS TIME||PAUL MCCARTNEY|
|1978||DON'T STOP ME NOW||QUEEN|
|1977||MR BLUE SKY||ELO|
|1976||GO YOUR OWN WAY||FLEETWOOD MAC|
|1974||SWEET HOME ALABAMA||LYNYRD SKYNYRD|
|1973||STEP INTO CHRISTMAS||ELTON JOHN|
|1971||TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROADS||JOHN DENVER|
|1970||YOUR SONG||ELTON JOHN|
|1969||I WANT YOU BACK||THE JACKSON 5|
|1968||(SITTIN' ON) THE DOCK OF THE BAY||OTIS REDDING|
|1967||AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH||MARVIN GAYE & TAMMI TERRELL|
|1966||PAINT IT BLACK||THE ROLLING STONES|
|1965||I CAN'T HELP MYSELF||THE FOUR TOPS|
|1964||MY GIRL||THE TEMPTATIONS|
|1963||IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME||ANDY WILLIAMS|
|1962||BRING IT ON HOME TO ME||SAM COOKE|
|1961||STAND BY ME||BEN E KING|
|1960||AT LAST||ETTA JAMES|
©2019 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.