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These Are The Biggest Songs Of 2016 (So Far)

BuzzAngle Music recently released a report that takes a look at the state of the music industry halfway through 2016, which includes the names of the albums and songs that have been the most popular so far. Just as is the case on the mid-year albums ranking, Drake runs the show, but he isn’t the only one doing well this year.

The hip-hop star’s “One Dance,” which features fellow musicians WizKid and Kyla, is in the lead at this point in 2016, though not by much. The track, which has now ruled the Hot 100 for eight nonconsecutive weeks, has shifted almost 3.4 million units, combining pure sales and streaming equivalent tracks.

Right behind Drake is Rihanna’s “Work,” which also features, you guessed it, Drake. The song lead the Hot 100 for nine weeks earlier in 2016, and it has only recently vacated the top ten. “Work” has sold about 100,000 more copies than “Dance” (1.64 million versus 1.5 million), but Drake’s first number one as a lead artist snuck into the front seat thanks to it’s incredible 281 million streams.

The third biggest song of 2016 comes to the U.S. from Denmark, courtesy of pop-rockers Lukas Graham. Their international smash “7 Years” may have stalled in the runner-up position on the Hot 100, but it remained there for weeks on end, and it racked up huge numbers everywhere people could consume the tune. Behind “Years” is Flo Rida’s “My House” at number four, and Justin Bieber’s third number one hit “Love Yourself,” which is sitting pretty at number five.

So far, not one song has managed to sell two million copies, though by the end of the year, that likely won’t be true anymore. Using the new methodology that blends actual sales and streaming equivalent tracks, the story is different. Twelve songs have passed the two million units shifted mark, and two of those (just Drake and Rihanna’s smashes) have blown past the three million mark.

As paid downloads continue to dwindle, streaming numbers are exploding, and the most popular tunes of the year are feeling the love. Of the 25 songs listed, only six have failed to accrue at least 100 million plays across streaming platforms.

Interestingly, only eight of the 25 songs made it to the number one position on the Hot 100, and there are a trio of hits that never quite managed to break into the top ten, but they have been popular enough on streaming and sales-wise to land on this list, which goes to show that chart rankings aren’t everything.

The state of the industry when it comes to singles is looking up…depending on which figure you look at. Sales of songs have dipped an unhealthy 24.2 percent, from 541 million in the first half of 2015 to just 410 million so far this year. At the same time, single-track streams are collectively up by almost 108 percent. Last year, just under 55 billion songs were streamed in the first six months, while that number is over 114 billion for the same time period in 2016, and that number will continue to grow.