Music artists

Highlight of the month: Ed Sheeran and Drake duke it out for No. 1 spot worldwide

In recent months, the most popular music artists worldwide have remained the same, barely letting any other artist even get a taste of a top-five spot. But that doesn’t mean there was a lack of excitement: Ed Sheeran’s resurgence in February shaped up nicely and ultimately kicked off a new kind of battle …

The first part of the TECXIPIO infographic is a teaser image with two boxing gloves, symbolizing the battle for the first place of most popular music artist between Ed Sheeran and Drake in March.

New in this month’s worldwide top 50

Luis Fonsi

Luis Fonsi just recently appeared in the worldwide top 50 ranking at number 29 following his releases at the end of February. At the South American level, he impressively outpaced other artists like Ed Sheeran and Drake to claim the top spot. Apart from that, there were no radical changes among the top 50 music artists in March. That being said, three more artists have found their way onto the charts.


Rick Ross

Rick Ross secured spot number 37 worldwide by dropping his new album “Rather you than me” on March 17, 2017. As a result, file sharing activity peaked on the release day, jumping from 5,600 to 36,700 P2P users per day. In total, this scored him 257,299 P2P users who shared his music in March.


More newcomer

Also new to the top 50 ranking this month: Ricky Martin. The hip-shaking Latino moved from rank 65 to 48. Fellow ’90s chart-toppers Depeche Mode also landed a spot in the ranking (see “More winners in March”).

The second part of the TECXIPIO infographic shows the top 5 most popular music artists worldwide according to file sharing activity. In addition, which artists are new among the top 50 in March.

More winners in March


The Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Red Hot Chili Peppers moved up seven ranks to spot 22 in March. This expanded their fan base from 271,344 to 318,121 file sharers worldwide in March. Since they have not put out any new releases, the growing P2P activity was presumably sparked by excitement surrounding their U.S. tour this month. 



As reported in the 2/2017 Top List, the American rapper Future has shown impressive increases in popularity. His ascent in March remains unbroken on the worldwide charts, where he again climbed up four spots. In March, his fan base grew to 454,973, which corresponds to an increase of 115,494 new file sharers compared with February.


Depeche Mode

The British rock-pop group Depeche Mode seems to be doing everything right with their new album “Spirit,” which was released on March 17, 2017. The number of file sharers tripled from 165,848 in February to 493,517 in March. With this boost, Depeche Mode stepped back into the ring with the top worldwide artists fueled by an amazing jump from rank 57 to 9. 
During 2015 and 2016, file sharing activity  barely reached any noteworthy levels, sticking to a maximum of 4,000 per day. Nevertheless, the announcement of the live video album release “Live in Berlin” on September 13, 2016, lead to increased activity among P2P users who shared Depeche Mode’s music to almost 9,100 users per day. In the following months, activity remained at a fairly steady level. That is, until a few days after the release of “Where is the revolution” on February 3, when their fan base started to wake up again. Activity peaked around the time they released “Spirit”. In general, Depeche Mode is most popular in Russia, China, Italy, the U.S. and Taiwan.

The third part of the TECXIPIO infographic shows the trendline of file sharers for files of Depeche Mode as well as in which countries and cities Depeche Mode are most popular in

Worldwide vs. regional champions

Compared with February, developments in March were characterized by significant changes, both in regional charts of Asia, Europe and the U.S. as well as at the respective city levels. Ed Sheeran reached the top spot in all of Europe’s major cities as well as in Asian capitals like Kuala Lumpur  – earning him the overall No. 1 in the European and Asian region. Drake, on the other hand, clearly performed better in the United States. On the worldwide stage, Ed Sheeran earned first place, knocking out his closest opponent, Drake, and therefore emerged from the fight as clear champion.

The fourth part of the TECXIPIO infographic shows the top three music artists in Asia, Europe and U.S. and also shows the ranking in different cities.

The rankings are based on the number of unique file sharers: How many peers shared at least one file of the respective music artist in March 2017?

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