This isn’t just the season for digital music services to predict the hit artists of 2017: it’s also a time to look back at the top music of 2016 on their platforms. Spotify and Pandora have published their big 2016 lists overnight: try not to fall off your chair at this shock news, but Drake did pretty well in both lists. He was Spotify’s most-played artist of 2016 with more than 4.7bn streams – double the 1.8bn streams he generated on Spotify last year. Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Twenty One Pilots and Kanye West – even with the delay in making his ‘The Life of Pablo’ album available on Spotify – rounded out the top five. Meanwhile, Spotify’s most-followed playlist remains ‘Today’s Top Hits’ with more than 12 million subscribers. Pandora’s lookback focuses on tracks rather than artists: its ‘Top Thumb Hundred’ chart includes 14 of Drake’s tracks, with his appearance on Rihanna’s ‘Work’ taking top spot, followed by his own ‘One Dance’. Pandora has highlighted the fact that 11 of its top 100 songs came from its 2016 Artists to Watch predictions at the start of the year. Meanwhile, 42 of Pandora’s top 100 of the year were hip-hop tracks, ahead of pop (29) and R&B (15). Just six apiece were from the alternative/rock and dance/EDM genres.

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