Things to know

13.4 million unique sharers for Major Lazer, making them clear favorite

Their song “Cold Water” was leaked before the official release date, and the number of unique peers peaked at 380,000 on the day the torrent was first shared on P2P. With that, Major Lazer snagged the top spot in 2016.



Key facts: music file sharing 2016   


Average number of unique peers (file sharers) sharing files of identified music artists in P2P 2016:

2,746,549 per day 


Countries with highest number of daily unique peers sharing files of music artists:

China (369k), Russia (324k), United States (296k)  


TOP 3 Music Artists among file sharers:

Major Lazer, Drake and Adele  


More Insights on the TOP 5 2016

No. 1: Major Lazer

While the number of file sharers interested in Major Lazer remained at a relatively low level at the beginning of the year (on average about 15,000 unique peers per day worldwide), numbers started to significantly rise in May, peaking at slightly more than 380,000 unique peers per day worldwide in June. This was due to a leaked file of the song “Cold Water” featuring Justin Bieber. During 2016, there were over 13.4 million unique sharers of Major Lazer files worldwide. 


TOP Countries: 

Major Lazer seems to have quite a fan base of sharers in India, Brazil and Russia. The top five countries made up more than 40% of the total unique sharers in 2016:


  • India: 15.4% (2,062,756 unique peers 2016)
  • Brazil: 10.9% (1,461,845 unique peers 2016) 
  • Russia: 7.3% (976,462 unique peers 2016)

Following quite a huge gap from Russia’s third–place numbers, Algeria ranks fourth with 3.7% of the total unique sharers in 2016 (502,192 unique peers), followed by Pakistan with 3.4% (461,772 unique peers).

No. 2: Drake

With a total of 8,510,655 unique peers in 2016, Drake ranks second in the top most shared music artists’ files in 2016. Peaking at just over 357,000 unique peers on April 29, the number of file sharers decreased slowly to about 60,000 unique peers per day in December.


TOP Countries: 

Looking at the countries where Drake files have been shared, the top ranks differ strongly from Major Lazer. The top five countries combined account for 46% of major shares with all peers. Nevertheless, Drake seems to have his strongest fan base in the United States. With more than 2 million unique sharers in 2016, some 23.6% of the total sharers, the U.S. clearly ranks as number one. China came in second place. However, with 8.1% (691,948), China trails the United States by a huge gap. Drake’s home country of Canada follows with 5.3%, then the United Kingdom with 4.7% and finally Brazil comes in close fifth place with 4.3%.

No. 3: Adele

While Adele led the main official chart rankings in 2016, with just above 8 million annual unique peers, she took third place among file sharers. In contrast to Major Lazer and Drake, the number of file shares began to peak with 338,000 unique peers on November 21, 2015. This explains her third–rank and total numbers in 2016. In January, the number of unique file sharers per day varied between 120,000 and 140,000 and decreased constantly throughout the year to an average of about 35,000 in December. 


TOP Countries and cities: 


  • United States: 10.01% (815,613 unique peers in 2016)
  • China: 9.9% (801,006 unique peers in 2016)
  • Russia: 7.0% (566,550 unique peers in 2016)
  • Brazil: 6.8%(550,385 unique peers in 2016)
  • Italy: 6.0% (482, 396 unique peers in 2016)

While the US ranks number one for unique sharers, the city with the highest number of unique sharers in 2016 was Moscow (RU) with about 94,000.  In second place was the city of Guangdong (CN) and in third place, São Paulo (BR) with about 66,000 each.

No. 4: BrvndonP

We saw the first file from BrvndonP (formerly known as Black Knight) in May 2016 and within 255 days, he had made it to the list of top music artists. With a peak on May 20 and about 411,000 unique peers that day, a total of 7,319,359 unique peers had shared his file by the end of 2016.


TOP Countries and cities: 


    The top countries were the same as those that we found for Major Lazer, but in this case, the top five countries account for almost half of the numbers worldwide (46.3%): 

      • India: 16.9% (1,237,331 unique peers in 2016)
      • Brazil: 11.8% (862,302 unique peers in 2016)
      • Russia: 8.6%(626,076 unique peers in 2016)
      • Pakistan: 5.5% (405,133 unique peers in 2016)
      • Algeria: 3.5% (257,163 unique peers in 2016)

      No. 5: Justin Bieber

      Like Adele, but on a visibly lower level, file sharing of Justin Bieber’s songs peaked in November 2015 with about 125,000 unique sharers on a single day. While the daily number of unique sharers remained between 100,000 and 80,000 until the end of February, in 2016 those numbers decreased gradually until the beginning of September (about 25,000 per day). The release of Bieber’s song “Let Me Love You” probably led to a slight increase to 40,000 unique sharers per day, but numbers decreased to 25,000 per day in December again. In short, files of Justin Bieber’s music were shared by 6,792,173 unique peers in 2016, making him number five on the list of most popular music artists among file sharers in 2016.


      TOP Countries and cities: 


        • United States 13.0%
        • Brazil 8.8%
        • China 5.8%
        • United Kingdom 4.7%
        • Philippines 4.3%

        Even though Brazil took second place, the city with the most unique file sharers was São Paulo (about 63,000), followed by Rio de Janeiro (39,900 unique sharers) and London (39,100 unique sharers). Quezon City (PH), Recife (BR) and Manila (PH) rank fourth to sixth place.

        Unique peers (sharers) 2016: How many peers shared at least one file of the respective music artist in 2016?

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