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Taylor Swift is the most-played artist of 2023

Taylor Swift has dethroned Puerto Rican reggaetón star Bad Bunny, who held the coveted title of the most-streamed artist globally for three years in a row

A file photo of Taylor Swift performing during 'The Eras Tour' in Nashville earlier this year (AP)

By AP

LAST PUBLISHED 30.11.2023  |  04:00 PM IST

Taylor Swift is Spotify’s 2023 most-played artist. According to Spotify Wrapped, the singer was 2023's most-streamed artist globally, raking in more than 26.1 billion streams since 1 January. That means the pop powerhouse has dethroned Puerto Rican reggaetón star Bad Bunny, who held the coveted title for three years in a row beginning in 2020.

He's in the number two slot in 2023, followed by The Weeknd in third, Drake in fourth, and regional Mexican musician Peso Pluma in fifth.

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It's not such bad news for Bad Bunny, however: his 2022 album Un Verano Sin Ti was Spotify's most-streamed album for the second year in a row, raking in 4.5 billion global streams. In that category, Taylor Swift's Midnights trails in second, with SZA's SOS in third. All three albums were released last year.

The top five is rounded out with The Weeknd's 2016 album Starboy and Karol G's Mañana Será Bonito, the only 2023 release to reach the peak.

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Miley Cyrus' empowerment anthem Flowers is Spotify’s most-streamed song of the year with 1.6 million streams globally. Kill Bill by SZA is the second most-streamed song of the year, while Harry Styles' As It Was, BTS member Jung Kook featuring Latto's Seven, and Eslabon Armado and Peso Pluma's Ella Baila Sola came in third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

In the US, Swift's dominance continued — she was the most streamed artist on the platform, followed by Drake and country star Morgan Wallen. Wallen's Last Night was the most streamed song, and his full-length One Thing at a Time was the most streamed-album.

On Tuesday, Apple Music announced Wallen’s Last Night topped its global song chart in 2023. It has been a banner year for the song, which also stayed atop the Billboard Hot 100 for 16 weeks, tying Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber’s Despacito for the title of second-longest reign in the Hot 100’s 65-year history.

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That the biggest artists, globally, earned top spots on Spotify Wrapped should come as no surprise — they're featured prominently across the streaming service, including on its highly influential playlists, in addition to boasting loyal, dedicated fanbases. For independent artists who may appear on an individual listener's Wrapped, accessing a top spot on the global list would require billions of streams.

According to Business Insider, artists make around $.003 and $.005 per stream, though Spotify itself does not pay per stream. Instead, they pay per “streamshare," a figure that is determined by adding up how many times music owned or controlled by a particular rights holder is streamed, divided by the total number of streams in the market it is streamed in each month.

Last month, Spotify announced a new policy regarding royalty payments, eliminating payment for songs with less than 1,000 annual streams starting in 2024.