FYI Music News – By The Numbers: Canada 2020 Year End Music Report

  • On Sept. 14, Billboard and MRC Data unveiled the first two authoritative rankings of the top songs globally: the Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excluding U.S. charts. WAP by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion led the inaugural Billboard Global 200 chart, while the first Billboard Global Excl. U.S. list was ruled by Maluma’s Hawái. In November, Ariana Grande’s Positions became the first song to debut simultaneously atop both charts, with Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez’s Dakiti becoming the first non-English track to top both charts just two weeks later.

  • In the global recorded-music market, audio on-demand streaming finished the year with a 16.1% increase in Canada, but adoption worldwide tells a slightly different story, with a 22.6% increase in total audio streaming. This year’s growth was led by territories like Japan, Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey, Spain, Brazil and Germany, which saw the biggest gains in weekly audio streaming growth since the start of the pandemic and accounted for a combined 22.8% of total audio streams in 2020.  


  • Before the world shut down, on-demand audio streaming was growing steadily through early March, up 21.3% over the same period in 2019. Total audio consumption was up 10.8% in the first 10 weeks of the year. 

  • As behaviors evolved and the majority of Canadians spent 2020 working from home, audio streaming finished the year with a 16.1% increase in year-over-year activity.


  • New albums from The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Drake and Shawn Mendes were also among the year’s most-consumed across all genres, capping off a busy year for hometown acts. 

  • Toronto native The Weeknd, whose After Hours finished 2020 as the No. 2 most- consumed album, led among all Canadian artists in total streams and sales, followed by London, Ontario-born Justin Bieber at No. 2 with Changes and fellow Torontonian Drake at No. 3 with mixtape Dark Lane Demo Tapes.

  • The Weeknd also dominated Top Songs and Radio Songs by Canadian Artists with Blinding Lights, as did Bieber at No. 2 with Intentions (featuring Quavo). Vancouver’s Powfu scored the No. 4 most-consumed song by a Canadian act with Death Bed, while Toronto’s JP Saxe scored the No. 5 most-consumed song and No. 3 at radio with the Julia Michaels duet If the World Was Ending.


  • RAP: The genre was led by a number of new as well as posthumously released titles from some of the industry’s biggest names. Leading the year-end rap album chart is Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, which was also the most- consumed across all genres in 2020 with 247,000 equivalent album units earned. The year-end top rap song in consumption was DaBaby’s Rockstar, which also finished 2020 as the No. 4 most- consumed song across all genres. 24kGoldn took top honours among rap songs at radio with Mood.

  • COUNTRY: Luke Combs finished the year with the genre’s two most-consumed albums, including What You See Is What You Get (No. 1, with 138,000 equivalent units), while Morgan Wallen’s album If I Know Me wrapped the year at No. 3 two years after its initial release. Female artists, who had been underrepresented in the top ranks of the Country charts for years, finished 2020 strong with two of the year’s five most-consumed Country songs and three of the top five most popular songs at Country radio — including Medicine Hat, Alberta, native MacKenzie Porter (No. 4), the highest-ranking Canadian act on the list.

  • R&B: The Weeknd ruled consumption across the board in R&B this year, as his album After Hours and single Blinding Lights were the most popular across all categories for the genre by a considerable margin. 

  • Dance/Electronic: Lady Gaga’s first fully dance/electronic album since 2013’s Artpop dominated the genre this year, helping set an optimistic tone for an eventual return to enjoying dance music in public. Gaga’s album Chromatica capped off a year that also saw highly anticipated new albums from DJ-producers Kygo and London, Ontario, duo Loud Luxury rank among the genre’s top five most-consumed.

  • ROCK: 2020 was a transitional period for rock, as a global pause on touring caused many of the genre’s biggest acts to sit out the year for new releases. Concurrently, the growth of catalogue rock continued to accelerate as heritage acts like Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and The Tragically Hip helped the genre increase its piece of the streaming pie, finishing 2020 as the No. 3 most-streamed genre (behind Pop and R&B/Hip-Hop).

Go here for the full breakdown.