Analysis

David Guetta tops Spotify’s most-followed artist chart with 4.7m fans


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If we were to say to you “David Guetta, Rihanna, Maroon 5, Flo Rida, Fun, Skrillex, Coldplay, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry and Adele”, what would your reply be? Bonus points but a gentle shake of the head for “That’s a bold lineup for the next Band Aid single…”

The headline will have given it away, of course. These are the 10 most-followed artists on streaming music service Spotify, based on the number of people who’ve clicked to follow their artist profiles on the service.

EDM star Guetta tops the list with just under 4.7m Spotify followers, which by our maths means around a fifth of Spotify’s 24m active users, although the latter stat is likely out of data now, so in reality it’s a smaller proportion.

Behind Guetta come Rihanna (3.9m followers), Maroon 5 (3.6m), Flo Rida (3m) and Fun. (2.4m). We got the idea to tally these numbers from the BPI’s annual general meeting yesterday, when Spotify’s head of label relations Kevin Brown gave a presentation including a slide of the 20 most popular artists on Spotify.

124B2B8E-8708-4807-B3F1-407F633174E7 (1)The numbers on that slide weren’t bang up-to-date, so we fired up Spotify, checked those 20 artists and some other big names who weren’t on it, and made an updated version. 19 of the artists in our Top 20 are the same, but Drake has been booted out in favour of One Direction – strangely, the rapper appears to have lost nearly 500,000 followers since Brown’s chart was compiled.

What does this mean, though? Spotify is keen for labels to be encouraging fans to follow their favourite artists on Spotify – showing the chart at the BPI AGM was a prod in that direction. “Given that followers get a notification every time a new piece of music is released, they can start listening immediately, so you’re generating revenue immediately,” said Brown.

There are some interestingly big artists lurking well outside the Top 20 too. Lady Gaga only has 822,580 followers on Spotify (well, “only” may sound silly, but in a world where LMFAO have nearly double that total, arguably justified).

One Direction and Justin Bieber are pretty low in the chart, considering their popularity on other social networks. Skrillex’s high ranking is interesting too. What’s that? How many Spotify followers do Atoms for Peace have? 17,739, since you ask. We’ll leave that there.

UPDATE: It seems Avicii slipped below both Spotify’s and our radar with his 1.7m followers, so he’s been added in, bumping One Direction down to 21st (yes, it’s a top 21 now).

Here’s the full chart, with our updated numbers (which you can cross-reference with Brown’s – click on the pic above to make it bigger – to check we’re not being unfair to Drake):

1. David Guetta: 4,660,423

2. Rihanna: 3,884,826

3. Maroon 5: 3,579,280

4. Flo Rida: 3,025,453

5. Fun.: 2,422,026

6. Skrillex: 2,418,015

7. Coldplay: 2,392,097

8. Nicki Minaj: 2,010,149

9. Katy Perry: 1,950,944

10. Adele: 1,880,411

11. Mumford & Sons: 1,836,219

12. Gotye: 1,830,054

13. Eminem: 1,811,682

14. Pitbull: 1,788,410

15. Lana Del Rey: 1,777,571

16. Justin Bieber: 1,746,103

17. Kanye West: 1,748,029

18. Avicii: 1,721,772

19. Usher: 1,664,708

20. LMFAO: 1,574,116

21*. One Direction: 1,524,912

Stuart Dredge

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