Gotye tops Spotify streaming 2012 chart

Pop ballad "Somebody That I Used To Know" was played an estimated 500 million times this year

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The Independent Culture

It’s the song about relationship break-ups which provided the musical soundtrack the year. "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye was the most-streamed song of 2012 by the 15 million global users of the Spotify streaming service.

Click here for a gallery of the artists that were the most streamed on Spotify this year

A number one in 25 countries, the song written by the Belgian-Australian musician and sung by New Zealand performer Kimbra, has dominated digital listening.

"Somebody…" topped the global streaming chart and the UK list, beating Carly Rae Jepsen’s dance hit "Call Me Maybe".

Gotye’s song has notched up an estimated 500 million “streams” during the year, including 350 million YouTube video plays and around 15 million “tags” on the Shazam phone song identification service.

The amount of “free” plays far outweighs the hit song’s number of paid downloads. "Somebody…" has sold 10 million downloads, including one million in the UK, making it the biggest-selling single of the year so far.

Spotify’s 2012 streaming chart is dominated by pop-dance acts like Rihanna, David Guetta, Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj with rock acts getting short shrift.

Alex Clare, a songwriter from north London, broke into the UK top ten, with Too Close, a song given a second lease of life after it was chosen to soundtrack a Microsoft television advert.

Folk-rockers Mumford and Sons made a Spotify breakthrough in October when their Babel album was streamed a record 8 million times in its first week of release in the United States. Boy band One Direction have now recorded more than 100 million song streams.

Spotify allows music fans to “stream” tracks for free or upgrade to a service without advertisements for £9.99 a month. Artists have complained that about the royalties they receive for a Spotify “ play”, with Lady Gaga earning just $162 for 1 million streams.

Spotify said it expects to pay $360 million (£230 million) to musicians this year. Many artists now earn more than half of their royalty income from online streaming services, as CD sales continue to decline.

Spotify charts

Most-streamed tracks of 2012 (global)  

1. Gotye featuring Kimbra - ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’

2. Carly Rae Jepsen - ‘Call Me Maybe’

3. Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe – ‘We Are Young’

4. Flo Rida - ‘Whistle’

5. Flo Rida featuring Sia - ‘Wild Ones’

6. Train - ‘Drive By’

7. Nicki Minaj - ‘Starships’

8. Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa - ‘Payphone’

9. David Guetta featuring Sia - ‘Titanium’

10. Loreen - ‘Euphoria’

Most-streamed tracks of 2012 in the UK

1. Gotye featuring Kimbra - ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’

2. Carly Rae Jepsen - ‘Call Me Maybe’

3. David Guetta featuring Sia – ‘Titanium’

4. Fun featuring Janelle Monae – We Are Young

5. Nicki Minaj - ‘Starships’

6. Flo Rida featuring Sia - ‘Wild Ones’

7. Rihanna – ‘We Found Love’

8. Alex Clare – ‘Too Close’

9. Train – ‘Drive By’

10. Jessie J – ‘Domino’

Most-streamed albums of 2012

1. David Guetta - ‘Nothing But The Beat’

2. Gotye - ‘Making Mirrors’

3. Drake - ‘Take Care’

4. Lana Del Ray - ‘Born To Die’

5.  One Direction - ‘Up All Night’

6.  Fun. - ‘Some Nights’

7.  Rihanna - ‘Talk That Talk’

8.  Coldplay - ‘Mylo Xyloto’

9.  Carly Rae Jepsen - ‘Call Me Maybe’

10. Flo Rida - ‘Wild Ones’

Most-shared tracks by Spotify users (the most-shared tracks to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Spotify user’s Inboxes)

1. Gotye ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’

2. Carly Rae Jepsen ‘Call Me Maybe’

3. Fun. ‘We Are Young - feat. Janelle Monáe’

4. Flo Rida featuring Sia ‘Wild Ones’

5. David Guetta ‘Titanium - feat. Sia’

6. Flo Rida featuring Sia - ‘Whistle’

7. Train - ‘Drive By’

8. Maroon 5 - ‘Payphone’

9.  Rihanna - ‘We Found Love’

10. Michel Teló - ‘Ai Se Eu Te Pego – Live’

Most-streamed female artists

1. Rihanna

2. Nicki Minaj

3. Adele

4. Lana Del Ray

5. Katy Perry

6. Carly Rae Jepsen

7. Beyonce

8. Taylor Swift

9. Loreen

10. Kelly Clarkson

Most-streamed male artists

1. David Guetta

2. Flo Rida

3. Eminem

4. Skrillex

5. Gotye

6. Drake

7. Pitbull

8. Jay-Z and Kanye West

9. Chris Brown

10. Avicii

Most-streamed bands

1. Coldplay

2. Maroon 5

3. Fun

4. Mumford and Sons

5.  Florence and the Machine

6. Linkin Park


8. One Direction

9. Train

10. Glee Cast

Most popular apps by usage

1. TuneWiki

2. Soundrop

3. We Are Hunted


5. Pitchfork

6. Digstr

7. musiXmatch

8. Billboard

9.  Filtr

10. Moodagent