The risks of announcing end-of-year charts and trend roundups were shown last year by Beyonce’s surprise iTunes album, and this year (in the UK at least) by the X Factor-fuelled Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars hit. Even so, every digital service has been at it with the roundups. Spotify, for example, announced that singer/songwriter Hozier was its “Breakout Star” of 2014, with more than 150m streams from 10m listeners on Spotify so far. Hozier was one of the streaming service’s Spotlight emerging artists to focus on in 2014, which was the platform for his growth on Spotify. Talking of which, the company’s picks for 2015 include Coasts, James Bay, Ibeyi, SOAK, Becky Hill, All We Are, Raury, Juce, Laura Doggett, Nothing But Thieves, Seinabo Sey and Lapsley. Meanwhile, Rdio released its own end-of-2014 charts, noting that Beyonce’s ‘Drunk In Love’ was its top song, and Iggy Azalea’s ‘The New Classic’ its top album. Rdio is preparing for 2015 with the announcement of Bea Miller as its artist to watch in January, and an “Rdio Covers 2014” initiative that sees emerging acts covering 24 of the biggest songs of the year, from ‘Happy’ to ‘Shake It Off’.

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