Spotify in Scotland: the most streamed artists and tracks of 2015

Picture: Spotify
Picture: Spotify
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Streaming site Spotify remains a popular destination for music lovers with 20 million paying subscribers across the world, including Scotland, but who are we all listening to?

The online music service looked at 31 of Scotland’s 32 council areas (no information for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar available) of Scotland to find out what the top tracks of 2015 were.


Ed Sheeran continued his reign over popular music in 2015 to become the most streamed male artist in Scotland. The singer/ songwriter came out top in 23 council areas including West Lothian, Stirling, South Ayrshire and Shetland Islands. Despite his single ‘Thinking Out Loud’ being released with his album in 2014 and spending a whole year inside the Official Singles Chart Top 40, Scots still continued to stream the track in 2015.

‘Thinking Out Loud’ was in the top 10 streamed tracks in 22 parts of the country alongside ‘Photograph’, which was the fourth release from the album ‘Multiply’. The song was especially popular in East Ayrshire where it gained its most streams.

Justin Bieber holds the title for most popular male artist title in Dumfries and Galloway where his three releases ‘Love Yourself’, ‘Sorry’ and ‘What Do You Mean?’ were three of five of the areas most streamed songs.

Ed Sheeran. Picture:

Ed Sheeran. Picture:


Popstar Ellie Goulding was the most streamed female artist in Scotland in 2015 off the back of the release of third album ‘Delirium’.

Goulding came out top in 15 of 32 parts of Scotland covered. She was catapulted into even greater fame after her song ‘Love Me Like You Do’ was part of the soundtrack to blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey. The track was also a common feature in the top 20 streamed songs around Scotland.

Her closest competitor was Beyonce, who was the most streamed female act in 10 parts of the country, despite only releasing one song (Runnin’ with Naughty Boy) and not featuring on the most streamed tracks.

Ellie Goulding. Picture:

Ellie Goulding. Picture:

Overall, 2015 was a poor year for female artists in streaming terms. No female artists appeared in the top five most streamed artists anywhere in Scotland, except in East Renfrewshire where Dutch singer Natalie La Rose came in fifth.

Female artists were most popular in East Dunbartonshire and Orkney, where five women appeared in the 20 most streamed list including Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande and Florence and the Machine.

After returning from a four year hiatus late last year, Adele managed to squeeze her way into the most streamed songs in Scotland with comeback single ‘Hello’. The song was the second most streamed in 2015 in Dumfries and Galloway.

READ MORE: New Scottish music: Indigo Velvet

Justin Bieber. Picture:

Justin Bieber. Picture:

MOST STREAMED SONG: Major Lazer & DJ Snake - Lean On

As well as being the most streamed song of all time on Spotify, Lean On by Major Lazer was the most popular song in Scotland. In 20 different parts of the country, the song managed to out play the likes of Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran. The track has now received over 636m streams globally, according to Spotify, overtaking previous record holder, ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran.

‘Lean On’ reached number two in the Official Charts Top 40 in the UK after its release in March.

The second most popular track was party hit ‘Uptown Funk’ by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. After the song was performed on the X Factor it shot to popularity and its release date was eventually brought forward to December 2014. The song has stood the test of time and continues to be popular across the country.

Song data was unavailable for Aberdeenshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire and Orkney.


Despite Sheeran, Bieber and One Direction being consistently popular throughout Scotland, there were a few unfamiliar faces.

The Weeknd, who was largely unknown to most people in 2014, frequently appears in both the most streamed artists and songs list after the release of ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ and ‘The Hills’. His third album ‘Beauty Behind The Madness’ was popular with Spotify users and claimed the title of the most streamed album of the year after the singer workedwith producer-to-the-stars Max Martin.

Eminem’s continuing popular is somewhat surprising considering the rapper hasn’t released an album since 2013. Yet Slim Shady remains a firm favourite in the hearts of many Scots and appeared in the top 10 most streamed artists in 27 different parts of the country.

Shetland returned the most unusual results with The Dixie Chicks, an American country music band, and Galantis, a Swedish electronic music production and song writing duo, being the 15th and 16th most streamed acts in the region.

The full lists for Scotland are below.


1 Major Lazer - Lean On (feat. MØ & DJ Snake)

2 Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk

3 Hozier - Take Me To Church

4 Justin Bieber - What Do You Mean?

5 Wiz Khalifa - See You Again (feat. Charlie Puth)

6 James Bay - Hold Back The River

7 Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud

8 Skrillex, Jack Ü, Diplo - Where Are Ü Now (with Justin Bieber)

9 OMI -Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix Radio Edit)

10 Kygo - Firestone

11 Justin Bieber - Sorry

12 Maroon 5 - Sugar

13 The Weeknd - Can’t Feel My Face

14 Disciples, Calvin Harris - How Deep Is Your Love

15 Jason Derulo - Want To Want Me

16 Years & Years - King

17 Ellie Goulding - Love Me Like You Do

18 Jess Glynne - Hold My Hand

19 Adele - Hello

20 Fetty Wap - Trap Queen


1 Ed Sheeran

2 Justin Bieber

3 One Direction

4 Sam Smith

5 The Weeknd

6 Eminem

7 James Bay

8 Avicii

9 Hozier

10 Calvin Harris

11 Maroon 5

12 Coldplay

13 Beyonce

14 Arctic Monkey

15 Ellie Goulding

16 Mumford & Sons

17 Drake

18 Imagine Dragons

19 David Guetta

20 Oasis

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