updated 09/05/2014 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/04/2014 AT 12:00 PM ET
Crowning the song of the summer is a fraught battle. Certain contenders arise early on, and either cling bitterly to the top slot or are quickly dethroned by the young and hungry.
This year, the obvious choice for the crown was Iggy Azalea’s inescapable hit “Fancy.” And Spotify’s data bears that out – in the U.S., at least. Globally, though, it’s a different story.
Internationally, the 2014 Song of the Summer is Calvin Harris’s appropriately named song “Summer,” which was the most streamed song globally over the past three months – it has garnered nearly 160 million streams to date on Spotify. Meanwhile, Ariana Grande beats out I-G-G-Y for the number two spot globally – the Azalea-assisted “Problem” followed “Summer” internationally.
Spotify’s Most Streamed Songs of the Summer: International
Limiting the data to the home front, however, reveals that “Fancy” has kept a firm hold on the top spot, with 16.5 million streams to its name, interesting given that Azalea hails from Australia. MAGIC!’s pro-marriage anthem “Rude” was a close second.
Spotify’s Most Streamed Songs of the Summer: U.S.
Now for a plot twist: Spotify’s “Most Viral” chart (which calculates a song’s social reach by dividing its number of streams by the number of shares it receives) points to two winners who don’t even show up on the other two lists: Alt-J and Mike Oldfield.
Alt-J, who were the big across-the-pond indie success story of 2012-13 with their debut album An Awesome Wave, had all three of the advance singles they dropped this summer hit the most viral list. (“Hunger of the Pine,” “Left Hand Free” and “Every Other Freckle” will all appear on the band’s anticipated sophomore album, This Is All Yours, out Sept. 22.)
Mike Oldfield, is – Stateside at least – best known as the composer of the haunting “Tubular Bells,” which quickly became lodged in the popular consciousness when it was used in The Exorcist. (Tubular Bells was his first album. He was 19 when it was released. Sigh.)
But his recent song “Nuclear,” from his March album Man on the Rocks, notched the number two spot on Spotify’s “Most Viral” chart, possibly due to its use in the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014 trailer for the anticipated video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It sounds more Wall-era Pink Floyd to us than “Tubular Bells.”
What’s your song of the summer? Let us know in the comments.