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Here Are 2013′s Most Popular Tunes, According To Our Informal Survey Of Music Startups


As we head into the last leg of 2013, you may find yourself misty-eyed, staring out the window and listening a mashup of this year’s biggest musical hits. It was a good year, and not just because One Direction decided to make a fragrance. So to celebrate, I turned to a few music services to see what their users were listening to most this year. 

As Gizmodo pointed out yesterday, Spotify has created its own playlist of the 100 most-played songs of 2013. In both the global and US lists, Macklemore owned the top five with “Can’t Hold Us” and “Thrift Shop,” as did Imagine Dragons’ shouty angst-them “Radioactive” and “Get Lucky” from Daft Punk and Pharrell. Now that we’ve recognized the appeal of a song that essentially repeats, “We’re up all night to get lu-cky” on a loop, I hope we can dispense with playing it for like five minutes.



In the song category, “Thrift Shop” yielded the most station creates this year; although Katy Perry’s “Roar” was the highest ranked for station creates in September through November. “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars was 2013′s most “thumbed-up” song overall, but again “Roar” is creeping up there as the most thumbed-up in the last three months.

As far as artists go, Drake inspired the most station creates this year, while Bruno Mars was the most thumbed-up artist of 2013.

Year to date, the most popular stations on iHeartRadio were 102.7 KIIS-FM Los Angeles and Drake (live and custom, respectively). Because I’d feel weirdly remiss not to mention her, Miley Cyrus jumped from 59th most popular artist to fourth place.

Bottom line: We all fantasize about our exes (portrayed by a heartbroken, baby-faced Bruno Mars) playing a piano under a spotlight and belting out, “I was wrooo-ooo-oooong.”

Warehouse rave


The biggest playlists on Songza were (in order): Today’s Biggest Hits, Today’s Happy Pop, The Rap Report, Today’s Country Hits, Drop-a-Beat Workout, and Blogged 50.

According to the Songza team, some of the more niche breakouts of the year were I’m A Boss (“perfect for driving with your top down and your middle fingers up”), Every Summer Dance Party, At A ’90s School Dance, The Twerk Tape, Vodka Escapades: Ladies Be Pre-Gaming, and Up All Night.

Note that Twerk Tape has been their most popular playlist on Twitter and Facebook for the last year and a half, so don’t chalk that up to the Miley effect.

Bottom line: Human nature is exactly as you always suspected.

Ed Sheeran


If iHeartRadio and Songza fall more on the pop/rage end of the music spectrum, 8tracks’ top songs for 2013 skewed indie-folkster. Which makes sense, since “The last indie playlist you’ll ever need” was their #1 most played mix and #3 most liked. The service’s top ten songs of the year were:

1. Passenger, “Let Her Go”
2. The Neighborhood, “Sweater Weather”
3. Birdy, “Skinny Love”
4. Ed Sheeran, “Kiss Me”
5. Ed Sheeran, “Give Me Love”
6. Icona Pop, “I Love It”
7. Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive”
8. Imagine Dragons, “On Top Of The World”
9. Avicii, “Wake Me Up”
10. The 1975, “Chocolate”

Bottom line: “I’ll Follow You Into The Dark” by Death Cab For Cutie was #21. It was released in 2006.

[Images via Getty; Flickr: San Francisco Foghorn, Dominic Simpson, Steve Hunt]

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