Taylor Swift was the IFPI’s top artist of 2019, based on global streams and sales, while Post Malone was Spotify’s most-streamed artist, and Billie Eilish was Apple Music’s artist of the year. But here’s some more success stories from last year that you won’t have seen on the charts put out by those companies: Don Toliver; Kim Loaiza; Trevor Daniel; Bizarrap; Afro Bros; Meshuggah; Arizona Zervas; Jaykae; King Gnu and D-Block Europe.
These aren’t all unknown artists, as such: several of them had hits in 2019 for example. But they’re also the top 10 artists ranked in a new report by analytics firm Chartmetric, based on their ‘cross-platform performance’ gain in the latter half of 2019. That’s a measure of their growth (not their overall popularity) on streaming services Apple Music, Deezer, SoundCloud, Spotify and YouTube, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and (in traffic terms) Wikipedia.
This is clearly a methodology where social media has a big impact. Top-ranked artist Toliver’s ‘No Idea’ track went viral on TikTok, as did third-placed Daniel’s ‘Falling’. Meanwhile Loaiza and Bizarrap built their audiences on YouTube. The latter platform gets its own top gainers chart in the report, topped by US artist Ashnikko, whose 1.4m views in July grew to 50.7m by the end of December – a 3,471% gain. It’s true that a chart measuring gain percentage will favour artists starting off from smaller bases, although Billie Eilish is ranked fifth with this methodology too.
Other charts in the report include a focus on top gainers in terms of Spotify monthly listeners (topped by Arizona Zervas, whose ‘Roxanne’ was another big TikTok hit before translating that popularity to streaming services). Talking of TikTok, Chartmetrics’ top-10 rankings for ’TikTok count gain’ are a clean sweep for American artists, which is interesting.
Meanwhile, the artist with the most ‘first-time playlist adds’ on Spotify in the latter half of last year was an up-and-coming young rapper named… Jay-Z. The result of his back catalogue returning to that streaming service late last year. Another fun stat: Jay-Z’s ‘playlist follower reach’ on Spotify at the end of 2019 was 48 million people from Spotify’s own playlists, and 110 million people from ‘non-editorials’.