Shazam and Spotify Battle for ‘Song of Summer’ Picks

DJ Khaled pool poppin' champagne

DJ Khaled pops the cork on summer. His “I’m the One” made both Shazam and Spotify’s “Songs of Summer” lists. (Photo courtesy We The Best Music Group)

Spotify and Shazam both released their song of summer picks, and in a show of seasonal solidarity, there is some crossover: Selena Gomez, Sean Mendes, Luis Fonsi and DJ Khaled and Lil Uzi Vert are the five double-entries. Spotify’s list tilts toward rap while Shazam gives pop equal time.

“Summertime is the season of sunny weather, good vibes and good music,” Shazam’s Senior Director of Research Scott Holechek, noting an uptick of 5%-10% in global Shazams through the summer, “depending on the month, which gives a solid indication of the cultural correlations between summer, music and people.” Holechek stressed Shazam’s annual role in helping shape summer playlists by enabling music discovery.

Meanwhile, Spotify had to deflect incoming: The Verge called out the streamer on an abundance of contenders — “Anyone can guess the song of the summer if they get 15 tries!” — and went on to complain that the Spot-on pics are mostly summer bummers (while they try to helpfully include rapper Logic’s suicide prevention “1-800-273-8255,” its chorus of “I just wanna die, lemme tell you why…” could send the wrong message for those who don’t catch the subtext).

Inexplicably, Spotify omits Harry Styles — season of treason! Styles’ “Sign of the Times” made Shazam’s list — but does includes his former One Direction bandmates: Niall Horan with “Slow Hands” and Liam Payne with “Strip That Down” — setting up a 1D summer smackdown.

Gomez’s “Bad Liar,” Khaled’s “I’m the One,” Fonsi’s “Despacito (remix)” and Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” are the four that pulled double-duty.

Spotify said to cull the list its team analyzed streaming data and “factored in buzz on social media,” trying to cover the bases of “essential summer moments,” in search of songs that will  “join the ranks of summer greats including 2012’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ [Carly Rae Jepsen] and last year’s ‘One Dance’ [Drake].'”

Looking back over last year’s consumption trends, music data firm BuzzAngle found no unusual elevation in summer months, noting a general month-by-month upward trajectory that reflects “a general rise of streaming overall, but nothing out of the ordinary during the summer. Given how easy it is to listen to music year-round, seasonality effects are reduced,” said an analyst for BuzzAngle.

Since there would be no songs of summer without busy scribes, panning for hits, MaxTheTrax decided to pull the curtain back to see if there is a songwriter of summer. Among the 20 songs, there are only three songwriters who have more than one credit: Julian Bunetta, Justin Tranter and Benjamin Levin (better know as Benny Blanco) each had two.

And for the shout-out they get to thank compatriot Ross Golan, who recently shared BMI Songwriter of the Year honors in a tie with Tranter — because his “And the Writer Is…” podcast has cast a white-hot spotlight on tunesmiths. Bunetta co-authored “Craving You” (performed by Thomas Rhett and Maren Morris) and Horan’s “Slow Hands,” Tranter waxed poetic on Gomez’s “Bad Liar” and Julia Michaels’ “Issues,” the latter with Levin, who also has a credit on Camila Cabello’s “Crying in the Club.”

Alas, Golan is not on this preliminary list, but when Billboard starts running its “Songs of Summer” chart next week the season may smile on him yet. “Sometimes you gotta hope you have the underdog record,” he said. “Mine is the Jonas Blue remix of Jasmine Thompson’s ‘Old Friends.’ Jasmine’s not famous like the rest of the list…. but if the cards fall right, she will be!” Optimism, after all, is the stuff of summer dreams are made of.

The complete playlists can be seen below. Or listen here for the Shazam summer picks.

Spotify Shazam
1. “Bad Liar” Selena Gomez – Between the playful coos and seductive beat, Selena Gomez’s brand new song has us all hot and bothered. Spotify listeners took to this track instantly and we predict it’ll be setting the tone for summertime shenanigans everywhere. 1. “Despacito” Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber– Bieber jumping on the remix turned this into a global smash and the track strong enough to end Ed Sheeran’s 14-week reign at the top of our Worldwide Chart. It has sat at #1 in 30 of our charts.
2. “Strip That Down” Liam Payne ft. Quavo – Liam Payne’s first post 1D solo offering references everything summer needs: beverages (“Coke and Bacardi”), fast cars (“F1 type Ferrari”) and suggestive dancing (“I love it when your body grinds on me”). Co-written by Ed Sheeran, this track is already the life of the party. 2. “I’m The One ” DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper, Lil Wayne – This song – which features guests including Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne and Quavo – arrived at #1 on the US Shazam chart only four days after its release.
3. “I’m The One” DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper, Lil Wayne – If you’re looking to kick back beside the pool with a drink in hand and a mission to be worry-free, this is your song. Led by the charismatic DJ Khaled, “I’m The One” is a sunny all-star collaboration about telling a girl she can call off the search for Mr. Right. 3. “Sign Of The Times” Harry Styles – The One Direction star’s debut single had almost 1.4 million Shazams in the month following its release. With an album just released, this looks like Harry’s summer.
4. “Crying in The Club” Camila Cabello – We’ve been looking forward to this moment ever since we found out Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello was going to break out as a soloist. Her debut, “Crying in The Club,” is a smash and we think this stop-feeling-sorry-for-yourself-cuz-you’re-OK song will have you looking up in no time. 4. “Attention” Charlie Puth – Charlie’s polished return has been a Shazam success story. On the rise in almost all of our charts, it has also performed strongly in our Future Hits charts.
5. “The Cure” Lady Gaga – This track has enjoyed a nice, steady build since its April release and we see it hanging around to be your feel-good companion during the warmer months. On this soothing pop gem, Lady Gaga offers to rub our hands, feet and legs. We’ll take it! 5. “Bad Liar” Selena Gomez – A strong first weekend after its release in May saw “Bad Liar” achieve almost 60,000 Shazams worldwide and come in near the top of our Future Hits chart in the US.
6. “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” – Shawn Mendes – The hook on “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” is so fun and urgent it could influence even the most cautious driver to put the pedal to the metal. Pace yourself, though, because while this Shawn Mendes hit is already making its mark on the charts, it has a lot of gas left in the tank. 6. “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” Shawn Mendes – Breaking into the Top 5 of the Shazam US Future Hits chart, “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” is a strong return for the Canadian songwriter.
7. “Swish Swish” Katy Perry ft. Nicki Minaj – Katy Perry says the newest offering from her upcoming album Witness, is about shaking off negative vibes, and what better place to do that than on the dance floor. Listeners embraced this song from the get-go and we’re pretty sure it’ll be swish swish-ing all the way through summer. 7. “OX TOUR Llif3” Lil Uzi Vert – Appearing on our ‘trending’ list and featuring towards the top of our Hip Hop chart too, there’s been 580,000 Shazams so far for this track.
8. “Mask Off” Future – Having surpassed 260 million streams and as a popular feature of Spotify’s Rap Caviar playlist, “Mask Off” is already a monster hit. The track is now breathing new life thanks to a brilliant remixed version featuring Kendrick Lamar. 8. “Issues” Julia Michaels – Predicted as an artist to watch by Shazam at the start of the year, ‘Issues’ keeps growing around the world, with no sign that momentum is going to slow.
9. “Thunder” Imagine Dragons – Vegas rock band Imagine Dragons know how to deliver big, bombastic choruses, and this song does that in spades -while also sharing cool sounds from Mother Nature. This track took off in our Rock This playlist so yes, boys, we feel the thunder. 9. “Craving You” Thomas Rhett & Maren Morris – Top 5 and on the rise on the Shazam Country Music Chart. This track, by a superstar duo including a multi-platinum artist and a Grammy award-winner has the potential to cross over beyond a traditional country music audience.
10. “DNA” Kendrick Lamar – Multiple tracks from Kendrick Lamar’s celebrated album DAMN. have been lighting up Spotify charts for weeks. “DNA” is a standout because of its impressive stamina. Listeners had this song on repeat since the beginning, and much like Lamar himself, it’s not showing signs of letting up. 10. “do re mi” Blackbear – Early Shazam signals suggest this could be the summer’s slow burner. 65,000 Shazams already for the songwriter who helped pen Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend.”
11. “Slow Hands” – Niall Horan
You may have noticed the world is suddenly awash with songs from 1D members-gone-solo. While the boys are all doing great things, one of our faves is Irish lad Niall Horan’s “Slow Hands.” Listeners are obsessing over its relaxed, sexy vibe.
12. “Despacito” (Remix) Luis Fonsi, ft. Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber – While it’s a risk to call out a track that’s already reached No. 1 as a song of the summer prediction, Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito (remix)” likely has very long legs. Not only is it the first track with Spanish lyrics to top Spotify’s global chart, it also features Justin Bieber seductively singing in Spanish. Caliente!
13. “Malibu” Miley Cyrus – It’s always great to get something new from Miley Cyrus, especially a timely song that conjures images of the wind blowing through your hair as you meander along the Pacific Coast Highway en route to California’s most coveted beach. “Malibu” is chill perfection.
14. “1-800-273-8255” Logic ft. Alessia Cara, Khalid
Rapper – Logic has really struck a chord – and shares an important message – with “1-800-273-8255.” The title is the number to the national suicide prevention hotline in the U.S., and listener support is carrying this song up the charts.
15. “XO TOUR Llif3” Lil Uzi Vert – Fresh off his assist in the chart-topping Migos hit “Bad and Boujee,” Philly rapper Lil Uzi Vert dropped the trap-pop track “XO TOUR Llif3.” It’s been building big time and now enjoys more than 2.5 million streams a day. It’s a keeper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.