Spotify released its annual list of the the artists and tracks that saw the most play this year. There were no big suprises, with the top slots going to artists like Ed Sheeran, Eminem, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, and Pharrell topping the streaming charts. The glaring absence of course, was Taylor Swift, who has been openly feuding with Spotify and recently pulled her music from the service entirely.
We reached out to Spotify to ask if Swift had been axed from the list due to the fact that her music was no longer available. "The top lists are an accurate reflection of what was listened to this year, there was absolutely no meddling or removing of her from the list," a spokesperson replied by email. "Taylor simply didn't make it into the top five."
That is a little hard to believe, given how popular Swift is right now. In a blog post responding to Swift's decision to remove her music from the service, Spotify wrote that "We love Taylor Swift, and our more than 40 million users love her even more – nearly 16 million of them have played her songs in the last 30 days, and she’s on over 19 million playlists."
On the other hand, Swift hasn't released a new album to Spotify since Red in 2012. Her newest album, 1989, was never available on Spotify. The top five female artists all released albums in 2013 and 2014, so it's possible that Swift missed the cut because didn't have any recent hits on Spotify helping to drive her overall plays.
The most exciting track on the list for my money has to be Blue Suede's "Hooked on a Feeling", which won for Top Throwback. The track was part of the best-selling oldies collection that made up the soundtrack for Guardians of the Galaxy. It's a nice reminder of what songs sounds like when voices aren't auto-tuned and the instrumentation comes from real musicians, not machines.