2018 is winding down, but on Spotify, the music is playing as loudly as ever. All throughout the year, our users have streamed countless hours of their favorite songs, artists, playlists, and podcasts. Now, we’re looking back to determine the music and audio trends that defined the year.
So, what did the world listen to in 2018?
Music lovers continued with some existing favorites, such as 2015 and 2016’s most-streamed artist, Drake, who took home the crown once again this year. With 8.2 billion streams in 2018 alone, the Canadian rapper is now our most-streamed artist of all time. His album “Scorpion” and song “God’s Plan” took the top slots in their categories—with “God’s Plan” bringing in more than 1 billion streams.
Outside of the reigning favorites, some chart-breaking stars also reached the top. Ariana Grande’s 48 million plus monthly listeners raised her to the position of Spotify’s most-streamed female artist, following in the footsteps of three-time winner Rihanna. She dropped major hits throughout the year, including her fourth album, “Sweetener” and her latest single “thank u, next” (over 220 million streams).
Hip-hop dominated Spotify’s charts in 2018, but Latin music continued its rapid growth. This year, three Latin artists—J Balvin, Ozuna and Bad Bunny—landed on the top-10 most-streamed artists list, while last year, Daddy Yankee was the only Spanish-speaking artist to reach the top 10. Dominican-American singer Cardi B, the third-most-streamed female artist of 2018, and Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello, the fifth-most-streamed, are also representing their Latin heritage through music. The genre is making its mark in playlists, with both ¡Viva Latino! and Baila Reggaeton finishing the year as Spotify’s third-and fourth-most-followed playlists.
In 2018, we also added more podcasts to our growing selection, bringing the total episodes available to almost 7 million. Listeners have enjoyed top podcasts like “The Joe Budden Podcast,” as well as “Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith” and Spotify’s “Dissect,” which offers a deep-dive analysis of popular music albums. The most popular topics are crime-and-mystery podcasts, such as “My Favorite Murder,” “Crime Junkie,” and “Crimetown.”
Can’t get enough of the chart toppers? Check out our lists of the top artists, songs, albums, groups, podcasts, and more below—and don’t forget to tune in on December 6 to the Wrapped microsite to see your personal favorites and top-streamed tracks, and receive a playlist based on your tastes.
So without further ado …
Spotify’s Global Top Lists 2018:
Drake is the world’s most-streamed artist, with more than 8.2 billion streams this year. J Balvin, who made his top-five debut, had multiple hits on our global chart, such as “X” (with Nicky Jam) and “I Like It” (with Cardi B).
*Ed Sheeran was the top-streamed artist in 2017
Spotify’s top-streamed female artist, Ariana Grande, released her hotly-anticipated fourth album, “Sweetener,” in August. She had a momentous year with numerous charting singles, including her latest smash “thank u, next.” Grande’s music streamed more than 3 billion times in 2018.
While it was the summer of “In My Feelings,” Drake’s track “God’s Plan” was actually the most-streamed song of 2018. Post Malone also scored two songs on this list with both “rockstar (feat. 21 Savage)” and “Psycho (feat. Ty Dolla $ign).”
- God’s Plan – Drake
- SAD! – XXXTENTACION
- rockstar (feat. 21 Savage) – Post Malone
- Psycho (feat. Ty Dolla $ign) – Post Malone
- In My Feelings – Drake
Most-Streamed Artist Albums
Drake’s “Scorpion” was released on June 29, and before long was racking up 10 million streams an hour. Dua Lipa’s self-titled debut album also had a stellar year, and Ed Sheeran’s 2017 album “÷” made the top five as well.
- Scorpion – Drake
- beerbongs & bentleys – Post Malone
- ? – XXXTENTACION
- Dua Lipa – Dua Lipa
- ÷ – Ed Sheeran*
*Ed Sheeran’s ÷ was the top album in 2017
Imagine Dragons is Spotify’s most-streamed group for 2018, but K-pop sensation BTS also enjoyed plenty of global listening. Maroon 5 and Migos come in third and fourth, and Coldplay took fifth.
*Must have three or more members
** Coldplay was 2017’s most-streamed group
Today’s Top Hits is 2018’s most popular playlist. It’s the best place to go to find out what’s trending in popular music—and about 22 million followers agree. Rounding out the top five is Songs to Sing in the Car, with Beyoncé’s “Halo,” and Camila Cabello’s “Havana” as the top two songs people are belting on their road trips.
Most-Streamed Exclusive Spotify Podcasts
As we continue to expand our repertoire of exclusive and original podcasts, these are the podcasts resonating the most with Spotify listeners.
- Fest & Flauschig
- The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory & Mal
- Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith
Most-Streamed Podcast Genres
- Crime and Mystery
- News & Politics