Apple's just released its year-end overview of which songs, movies, TV shows, and apps were most popular with iTunes customers in 2014. And let's just get it out of the way: this was the year of Frozen. Disney's animated smash hit was the most-downloaded film of the year and has already become the best-selling movie in iTunes history. The Lego Movie and The Wolf of Wall Street took spots two and three, with Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy sneaking into 10th place — despite only being available digitally for a few weeks. HBO's Game of Thrones was the year's most-downloaded TV show, followed by The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad, and Scandal.
Frozen basically wins everything
Frozen's dominance carried over to the music side of iTunes, as well. The film's soundtrack was 2014's best-selling album. But impressively, Taylor Swift's 1989 managed to rocket to second place after its release date in late October. Swift's latest album has already set records of its own, but the pop singer didn't fare as well on the singles front. There, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, Pharrell's inescapable "Happy" was the biggest song of 2014. Frozen's anthem "Let It Go" came in ninth, leaving Taylor Swift and "Shake It Off" to settle with 12th on the list.
For paid apps, Minecraft dominated iPad sales, but fell to second place among iPhone users. Heads Up! topped the chart for Apple's smartphone, no doubt boosted by constant promotion from Ellen Degeneres. When you look at free apps, Facebook's decision to force Messenger upon mobile users seems to be paying off. Messenger managed to finish ahead of Snapchat for 2014 and is the most popular free iPhone app. The company occupies two spots in the list of top 10 free iPad apps, and three slots on iPhone, with Instagram joining Facebook and Facebook Messenger.
Facebook fills three slots on iPhone list
Google Maps and YouTube, two apps that once came bundled with iOS, continue to be hugely popular with iPhone and iPad users. Overall, the app lists aren't all that surprising, with favorites like Netflix, The Room Two, Sleep Cycle, Pandora, and Spotify also represented. Apple's own streaming app, Beats Music, is nowhere to be found. Maybe next year. And finally there are ebooks, where readers flocked to stories that eventually transitioned into movie scripts; The Fault in Our Stars and Gone Girl were 2014's best sellers in fiction.