What the World Streamed Most in 2021

Spotify Wrapped 2021

If 2020 was the year that flipped the world on its head, 2021 was the year that we got used to seeing things upside down. With “normal” thrown out the window, people around the world started to embrace the unknown—and in doing so, championed all of the things that make each of us unique. 

Spotify’s 2021 Wrapped celebrates this idea—the millions of weird and wonderful ways to listen and live in a world that continues to keep us on our toes. Today, we unveil the top artists, albums, songs, podcasts, and more that defined how more than 381 million people around the world listened and discovered audio during a year that turned “unprecedented” into, well, precedented.  

As usual, Wrapped helps us reflect on the large role audio played in the lives of our listeners—and how our favorite creators soundtracked the world around us. 

The top artists, songs, and albums globally

For the second year in a row, Puerto Rican Reggaeton star Bad Bunny takes the title of most-streamed artist in the world on Spotify. And what’s more: He’s received over 9.1 billion streams without releasing a new album this year. He is swiftly followed by singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, whose Red (Taylor’s Version) gave old and new fans alike a reason to relive the artist’s early groundbreaking work. Rounding up 2021’s top three is BTS. The globally beloved k-pop group had a standout year thanks to their single “Butter.” Canadian hip-hop artists Drake—who released Certified Lover Boy in September—and Justin Bieber—whose 2021 album Justice featured collaborations with artists from across the globe—take spots four and five, respectively.

The top song of 2021 globally is Olivia Rodrigo’s runaway “drivers license,” which garnered over 1.1 billion streams. Lil Nas X’s viral “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” dances its way to second place and heralded the artist’s first studio album. The Kid LAROI enters the ranks for the first time, with his Justin Bieber collaboration “STAY” taking third. The fourth spot sees Olivia Rodrigo once again, this time with “good 4 u,” which also earned the title of 2021 Spotify Song of the Summer. The fifth most streamed song to rise in the ranks is Dua Lipa’s Levitating (feat. DaBaby).” 

When it comes to top albums of 2021 globally, Olivia Rodrigo once again claims the crown—her debut album SOUR clearly held a bit of sweetness. Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia ranks second, with Justin Bieber’s Justice, Ed Sheeran’s =, and Doja Cat’s Planet Her coming in third, fourth, and fifth. 

The top podcasts globally

Coming out of its first full year as a Spotify exclusive, The Joe Rogan Experience remains the number-one podcast on Spotify globally. It is followed by the fearless Alex Cooper’s Call Her Daddy, which also became exclusive to Spotify in 2021. True crime and news continue to be popular genres within the medium, with Crime Junkie, TED Talks Daily, and The Daily rounding out the list. 

Notable trends of 2021

When we looked at trends on Spotify in 2021, the top songs, artists, albums, and podcasts weren’t the only things we found. We learned about the moments that united listeners—and the ones that were notable for their uniqueness. 

Nostalgia played a role in people’s listening in 2021 as fans rediscovered old favorites—and new generations adopted them as well. Let’s face it: There are certain songs and albums that just sound like home (in a good way).

Speaking of home, 2021 saw people take plant parenthood to new heights. And they took the theory that music helps plants grow to heart.

Certain social media trends from throughout the year were also reflected on Spotify. These included musical genres that hadn’t been celebrated for . . . decades, to say the least, as well as celebrations of rest (and cuteness) that inspired playlists to match.

Earlier this year as vaccines started rolling out globally, fans celebrated the best way they knew how: by creating topical, themed playlists for rolling up their sleeves.

Throughout it all, people kept looking up at the stars—whether to see if life is out there, or to determine what life may have in store for us—and streaming all the while.

In addition to the world’s top-streamed music and podcasts, don’t forget to check out your own 2021 Wrapped personal experience in the Spotify app to see the story of your year in audio. Learn more about what you’ll find on your personal Wrapped hub in the Spotify app.

The wait is over: Here are the full lists of the top songs, artists, albums, and podcasts that defined 2021. 

Most Streamed Artists Globally

  1. Bad Bunny
  2. Taylor Swift
  3. BTS
  4. Drake
  5. Justin Bieber

Most Streamed Artists in the U.S. 

  1. Drake
  2. Taylor Swift
  3. Juice WRLD
  4. Kanye West
  5. Bad Bunny

Most Streamed Albums Globally

  1. SOUR by Olivia Rodrigo
  2. Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa
  3. Justice by Justin Bieber
  4. = by Ed Sheeran
  5. Planet Her by Doja Cat

Most Streamed Songs Globally

  1. “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo
  2. “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X
  3. “STAY (with Justin Bieber)” by The Kid LAROI
  4. “good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo
  5. “Levitating (feat. DaBaby)” by Dua Lipa

Most Streamed Songs in the U.S.

  1. “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo
  2. “good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo
  3. “Kiss Me More” (feat SZA) by Doja Cat
  4. “Heat Waves” by Glass Animals
  5. “Levitating (feat. DaBaby)” by Dua Lipa

Most Popular Podcasts Globally

  1. The Joe Rogan Experience
  2. Call Her Daddy
  3. Crime Junkie
  4. TED Talks Daily
  5. The Daily

Most Popular Podcasts in the U.S.

  1. The Joe Rogan Experience
  2. Crime Junkie
  3. Call Her Daddy
  4. The Daily
  5. NPR News Now