It started out with a kiss, how did it end up like this?
If you recognise that lyric, you’re not alone… because The Killers’ Mr Brightside, has become one of the UK’s most popular songs.
The 2004 single was streamed 26 million times last year, beating any other song released before 2010, according to music industry body the BPI.
That’s worth $150,000 (£115,000) in royalties. So it’s fair to say The Killers are making a killing on streaming.
However, the most-streamed song overall last year was Drake’s One Dance, which his fans played 141 million times.
It was the only song to break the 100 million barrier, but 35 other tracks, including Sia’s Cheap Thrills and Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself, were streamed more than 50 million times.
According to the BPI, classic songs accounted for more than half of all the streams served by Spotify, Apple Music and their competitors last year.
Christmas songs, in particular, attracted a huge number of plays.
|Most-played songs by decade|
|2000s||The Killers||Mr Brightside||26 million|
|1990s||Mariah Carey||All I Want For Christmas Is You||17 million|
|1980s||Wham!||Last Christmas||13 million|
|1970s||Stevie Wonder||Superstition||11 million|
|1960s||Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell||Ain’t No Mountain High Enough||10 million|
|1950s||Brenda Lee||Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree||6 million|
|1940s||Bing Crosby||White Christmas||4 million|
The figures were revealed in the BPI’s annual All About The Music report.
Other discoveries included in its analysis of the UK music market included:
- Driven by streaming, music industry income was up 5% to £926m, the highest figure for five years.
- One in eight albums sold globally is by a British artist (down from one in six in 2015).
- David Bowie was the UK’s most popular recording artist last year, followed by Adele, Drake, Little Mix and Coldplay.
- Compilation album Now 95 was the best-selling album of 2016, shifting 867,959 copies.
- Sales of singles hit a 10-year low, with 97.9 million songs purchased or downloaded.
- A total of 375,000 albums sold at least one copy in 2016.
- Friday is the busiest day of the week on streaming services, driven by “New Music Friday” when most songs are premiered.
- But Saturday is still the most popular day for album purchases, with CDs and vinyl accounting for 30.7% of the music market.
Britain is now the third-biggest music market in the world; but the BPI warned that Brexit could pose challenges for the industry in the coming years.
“Brexit risks new EU barriers for UK acts, who also face stiff competition from overseas artists on global streaming platforms,” said chief executive Geoff Taylor.
“Our business will only reach its full potential if the government makes the creative sector a high priority in trade negotiations and offers the same kind of support to investment into music, such as through tax credits, as it has to the film and games industries.”