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Link to MRC Data Report HERE 

 

THE YEAR IN GLOBAL

  • On Sept. 14, Billboard and MRC Data unveiled the first two authoritative rankings of the top songs globally: the Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excluding U.S. charts. “WAP” by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion led the inaugural Billboard Global 200 chart, while the first Billboard Global Excl. U.S. list was ruled by Maluma’s “Hawái.” In November, Ariana Grande’s “Positions” became the first song to debut simultaneously atop both charts, with Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez’s “Dakiti” becoming the first non-English track to top both charts just two weeks later.
  • In the global recorded-music market, audio on-demand streaming finished the year with a 16.1% increase in Canada, but adoption worldwide tells a slightly different story, with a 22.6% increase in total audio streaming. This year’s growth was led by territories like Japan, Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey, Spain, Brazil and Germany, which saw the biggest gains in weekly audio streaming growth since the start of the pandemic and accounted for a combined 22.8% of total audio streams in 2020.  

 

THE YEAR COVID CHANGED EVERYTHING

  • Before the world shut down, on-demand audio streaming was growing steadily through early March, up 21.3% over the same period in 2019. Total audio consumption was up 10.8% in the first 10 weeks of the year. 
  • As behaviors evolved and the majority of Canadians spent 2020 working from home, audio streaming finished the year with a 16.1% increase in year-over-year activity.

 

MUSIC’S BIG WINNERS 

Genres that saw streaming increases:

  • Children’s music and Country were the first two big genre winners during lockdown. Families turned to YouTube videos to keep their away-from-school kids entertained, prompting a 4.6% increase in Children’s music during the first week of lockdown that sustained growth through the week ending May 7.
  • Country, previously one of the slowest genres to convert fans to streaming services, saw accelerated growth in share of on-demand streams, rising 10.5% above the baseline through the week of May 7, and ended the year with a surge in share of on-demand audio streams, from 5.5% pre- COVID-19 to 6.5% post-lockdown.

 

The artists who outperformed a crowded marketplace:

  • The Weeknd – The Canadian pop/R&B star broke several chart milestones with his album After Hours and blockbuster single “Blinding Lights.” After Hours scored the highest single-week album consumption and album sales in 2020. In November, “Blinding Lights” broke the record for the most weeks spent in the top 10 of the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. With seven of those weeks spent at the summit, it also matches “Starboy” in 2016-17 for The Weeknd’s longest stay at No. 1 among his five career leaders. It is the highest-streamed song in 2020 by a Canadian artist (fourth overall). 
  • Taylor Swift – Released with just 24 hours notice on July 24, Taylor Swift’sfolklore scored the second-biggest consumption week of 2020 with 47,000 equivalent album units in the week ending July 30 (led by 31.3 million streams for its songs). Evermore, the surprise follow-up to folklore released with 24 hours notice on Dec. 11, achieved the fifth- highest sales week for any album in 2020, with 30,000 equivalent album units sold the week ending Dec. 17.
  • Justin Bieber – The Pop singer’s comeback album, Changes, his first in five years, scored the third-highest one-week consumption total of 2020 with 40,000 equivalent units earned the week ending Feb. 20 and 19.1 million streams for its songs. A quartet of follow-up singles released after Changesall debuted at No. 1 on the Canadian Hot 100: “Stuck With U,” with Ariana Grande; “Holy,” featuring Chance the Rapper; “Lonely,” with Benny Blanco; and “Monster,” with Shawn Mendes.
  • Harry Styles – The U.K. singer-songwriter built off the success of his solo debut with even bigger hits in 2020. Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar” became the pop star’s highest-charting song on the Canadian Hot 100, peaking at No. 3 (Aug. 15) with a 10% increase in downloads (2,000) and a 17% increase in radio reach (11.2 million in audience impressions). The song also spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the All-Format Spins chart.

  

Social Media’s Impact On Breaking (And Re-Breaking) Hits 

  • Roddy Ricch: The rapper’s viral hit “The Box'' became the second non-holiday song to top the Canadian Hot 100 in 2020. Buoying the song’s popularity was a viral TikTok meme. The track finished 2020 as the No. 5 most-consumed song, with 105.1 million on-demand streams and 12.3 million in audience impressions at radio.
  • BENEE: The New Zealand singer-songwriter’s song “Supalonely” (featuring Gus Dapperton) became one of the first unofficial anthems of the quarantine era after TikTok memes helped the song peak on the Canadian Hot 100 at No. 10.
  • Jawsh 685 And Jason Derulo: New Zealand producer Jawsh 685’s “Savage Love (Laxed — Siren Beat)” featuring pop-R&B singer Derulo was the No. 1 most popular song on TikTok thanks to its viral dance challenge.  “Savage Love” became the first Candian Hot 100 No. 1 for the 18-year-old producer, as well as for pop veteran Derulo, when it rose from No. 2 to No. 1 on the chart dated Aug. 15.
  • Fleetwood Mac: Forty-three years after “Dreams” became the group’s sole Billboard Hot 100 No. 1, the song returned to the chart when a popular TikTok video started to reach mainstream audiences. The song eventually rose to a 2020 chart peak of No. 9 on the Canadian Hot 100 and accumulated 28.9 million on-demand streams, 12 million audience impressions at radio and 16000 downloads this year.

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER

George Floyd’s death on May 25 led to a widespread protest movement for racial justice and police reform, which led to a resurgence in playlisting and streams of protest songs both recent and classic. Songs by Childish GambinoJ. Cole,Kendrick Lamar21 Savage and N.W.A saw the biggest lift in average daily audio streams from May 28 to June 6.

 

KOREAN POP ACTS REACH NEW MAINSTREAM HEIGHTS

  • BTS: BTS saw its passionate fan base expand even further, scoring two No. 1 albums in 2020 and the group’s highest-charting single on the Canadian Hot 100. “Dynamite” became the group’s highest charting song on the Canadian Hot 100, peaking at No. 2 – an all-time high for a South Korean act. The song later became BTS’ biggest hit at radio, peaking at No. 7 on the CHR/Top 40 airplay chart and accumulating 85.1 million airplay impressions in 2020. The group scored two No. 1 albums in 2020, its third and fourth to date, with Map of the Soul: 7 and BE
  • BLACKPINK: Blackpink scored its highest- charting album to date when The Album peaked at No. 5 on the Oct. 17-dated Canadian Albums chart (with 5,000 equivalent album units). Blackpink returned to its highest peak on the Canadian Hot 100 twice, as “How You Like That” and “Ice Cream” each reached No. 11 (as did “Kill This Love” in 2019).

 

IN MEMORIAM

  • POP SMOKE, 1999-2020: The Brooklyn-bred rapper spent 10 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart with his debut, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, released in July just five months after his death. The set rounded out 2020 as the year’s No. 1 most-consumed album, with 247,000 equivalent album units earned.
  • Juice WRLD1998-2019: The Chicago rapper-singer died in late 2019, which carried consumption of his catalog as well as posthumous release Legends Never Die well into 2020. The set surpassed Lil Baby’s My Turn to score the biggest streaming week of 2020 the week ending July 16, when it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Canadian Albums Chart  with 23,500 equivalent album units. 
  • CHARLIE DANIELS, 1936-2020: The Country Music Hall of Fame inductee’s death on July 6 prompted a 61.8% increase in catalog streams the week ending July 9. 
  • CHADWICK BOSEMAN 1977-2020 The actor’s death on Aug. 28 led fans to stream the soundtrack to his best-known film, Black Panther. Streams for the 2018 soundtrack album’s songs went up 58.3% on Aug. 29 versus the previous week.
  • EDDIE VAN HALEN, 1955-2020: The death of the co-founder (and namesake) of the iconic rock band on Oct. 6 prompted a 2,195% increase in Van Halen’s album and song sales and a 367% surge in streams in the week ending Oct. 8. 
  • JOHNNY NASH, 1940-2020: The “I Can See Clearly Now” singer’s catalogue saw a 78.4% rise over the previous week in on-demand audio streams, following his death on Oct. 6.
  • CHARLEY PRIDE, 1934-2020The pioneering country star saw a 424% increase in audio streams and 4,352% lift in video streams of his catalog in the two days following his death on Dec. 12.
  • K.T. OSLIN, 1942-2020: The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee’s passing on December 21 saw a 462% increase in streams of her catalog compared to the prior week.

 

CANADIAN ARTISTS

  • New albums from The WeekndJustin BieberDrake and Shawn Mendeswere also among the year’s most-consumed across all genres, capping off a busy year for hometown acts. 
  • Toronto native The Weeknd, whose After Hours finished 2020 as the No. 2 most- consumed album, led among all Canadian artists in total streams and sales, followed by London, Ontario-born Justin Bieber at No. 2 with Changesand fellow Torontonian Drake at No. 3 with mixtape Dark Lane Demo Tapes.
  • The Weeknd also dominated Top Songs and Radio Songs by Canadian Artists with “Blinding Lights,” as did Bieber at No. 2 with “Intentions” (featuring Quavo). Vancouver’s Powfu scored the No. 4 most-consumed song by a Canadian act with “Death Bed,” while Toronto’s JP Saxe scored the No. 5 most-consumed song and No. 3 at radio with the Julia Michaels duet “If the World Was Ending.”

 

BY GENRE

  • RAP: The genre was led by a number of new as well as posthumously released titles from some of the industry’s biggest names. Leading the year-end rap album chart is Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, which was also the most- consumed across all genres in 2020 with 247,000 equivalent album units earned. The year-end top rap song in consumption was DaBaby’s “Rockstar,” which also finished 2020 as the No. 4 most- consumed song across all genres. 24kGoldn took top honors among rap songs at radio with “Mood.”
  • COUNTRY: Luke Combs finished the year with the genre’s two most-consumed albums, including What You See Is What You Get (No. 1, with 138,000 equivalent units), while Morgan Wallen’s album If I Know Mewrapped the year at No. 3 two years after its initial release. Female artists, who had been underrepresented in the top ranks of the Country charts for years, finished 2020 strong with two of the year’s five most-consumed Country songs and three of the top five most popular songs at Country radio — including Medicine HatAlberta, native MacKenzie Porter (No. 4), the highest-ranking Canadian act on the list.
  • R&B: The Weeknd ruled consumption across the board in R&B this year, as his album After Hours and single “Blinding Lights” were the most popular across all categories for the genre by a considerable margin. 
  • Dance/Electronic: Lady Gaga’s first fully dance/electronic album since 2013’s Artpop dominated the genre this year, helping set an optimistic tone for an eventual return to enjoying dance music in public. Gaga’s albumChromatica capped off a year that also saw highly anticipated new albums from DJ-producers Kygo and London, Ontario, duo Loud Luxury rank among the genre’s top five most-consumed.
  • ROCK: 2020 was a transitional period for rock, as a global pause on touring caused many of the genre’s biggest acts to sit out the year for new releases. Concurrently, the growth of catalog rock continued to accelerate as heritage acts like Elton JohnFleetwood Mac and The Tragically Hip helped the genre increase its piece of the streaming pie, finishing 2020 as the No. 3 most-streamed genre (behind Pop and R&B/Hip-Hop).

26 Feb 2021 | Press release

GALA Festival returns to Peckham Rye Park

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26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Tony Wadsworth CBE announced as the new Chair of The BRIT Trust

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26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Better Noise announces promotion of Dan Waite to President as company expands its global footprint and ventures further into film

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26 Feb 2021 | Press release

ADA Asia announces key senior appointments

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26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ reaches one billion Spotify streams

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26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Ibiza Club Amnesia Announces Closing Party for 2021 // October 23rd

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26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Liverpool Sound City 2021 moves to October

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26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Music Venue Trust Add Six More Grassroots Music Venues to the #saveourvenues "Imminent Danger of Closure" Red List

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26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Calling Europe's music managers

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26 Feb 2021 | Press release

UK Music urges Chancellor to "back British music" and deliver "sounds of summer" for music fans

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26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Sound City 2021 moves to October

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26 Feb 2021 | Press release

Music Venue Trust announce 20 grassroots music venues are still at risk of permanent closure

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26 Feb 2021 | Press release

BMG hires Rachel Menzies to expand Original Repertoire Services to media clients

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26 Feb 2021 | Press release

DCMS Committee: Chair calls on Chancellor to provide urgent support for festivals

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25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Eight new presenters to join BBC Radio 1 on Fridays

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25 Feb 2021 | Press release

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25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Hospitality Weekend In The Woods reveals full lineup

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25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Creamfields 2021 Sold Out

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25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Anton Powers joins the KISS Network

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25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Record Industry Wins Double Landmark UK Court Victory In New Cyberlocker and Stream Ripping Piracy Cases

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25 Feb 2021 | Press release

The British Music Embassy reveals SXSW Online 2021 line-up

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25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Bauer Media Audio agrees to acquire Communicorp Group

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25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Universal Music Publishing Group signs Julia Michaels to exclusive, global publishing agreement

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25 Feb 2021 | Press release

Sony Music Publishing Signs Kane Brown to Global Deal

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24 Feb 2021 | Press release

MU and The Ivors Academy welcome evidence given by Amazon Music, Apple Music and Spotify to streaming inquiry

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24 Feb 2021 | Press release

Deezer brings sounds of Japan to the world

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24 Feb 2021 | Press release

Create joins Ministry of Justice's #itstillmatters campaign

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24 Feb 2021 | Press release

Seth Troxler and Carl Cox join Danny Tenaglia's 60th Birthday Stream for UNICEF

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24 Feb 2021 | Press release

O2 supports young talent in the music industry with no signal partnership

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24 Feb 2021 | Press release

Bauer Media Audio Forms Partnership to Supply Digital Services to Antenna Music, member of Antenna Group creating the SOUNDIS Brand Portal

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26 Feb 2021

  • Live Nation offers positive outlook for 2021 and beyond (see Business)

  • Billie Eilish documentary launches on Apple TV (see Digital)

25 Feb 2021

  • Spotify USA takes on $1.3bn in debt (see Business)

  • Merck Mercuriadis - "music's most hated man" (see Features)

24 Feb 2021

  • Streaming services appear at DCMS Inquiry session (see News)

  • Daniel Ek on how Spotify wants to be at the centre of creator monetisation (see Features)

23 Feb 2021

  • Spotify announce wide-ranging improvements, features and expansion; no plans for US price increase (see Digital)

  • Outline for return of live events announced (see News)

22 Feb 2021

  • Artists are finding better engagement and revenue via Peloton (see Features)

  • Government to consider 'UK creative industries export office' (see News)

  • YouTube Spaces to be replaced with online experiences and pop-ups (see Digital)

  • The music pie has grown, but the number of creators wanting a piece of it has grown faster (see Opinion)

19 Feb 2021

  • Sony Music’s Wolfgang Boss interviewed (see Features)

  • James Newman to represent the UK at Eurovision (see Media)

  • Virgin Music Label and Artist Services launched (see Business)

  • Beach Boys strike deal with Irving Azoff for music and more (see News)

18 Feb 2021

  • Big Hit Entertainment and Universal Music Group announce expanded strategic partnership (see Business)

17 Feb 2021

  • Government admits it is currently not negotiating with EU over touring arrangements (see News)

  • Merck Mercuriadis faces the future... and stares down his critics (see Features)

  • Mechanical Licensing Collective receives $424m in unmatched royalties from DSPs (see International)

16 Feb 2021

  • Failure to secure post-Brexit touring deal threatens careers of future music stars (see Comment) DCMS Committee to consider proposals put forward by the industry today (see News)

15 Feb 2021

  • Vivendi plans IPO for Universal Music Group by end of 2021 (see Business)

  • BRIT Awards: New Committee, category changes (see News)