Ellie Goulding's take on 'River' soared to No. 1 on the charts a few days ago.
The song was originally written by Joni Mitchell, with the English artist taking it in a new direction.
Sailing to the pinnacle of the Top 40, it wasn't long before eagle-eyed observers began noticing some trickery.
As Dan Barker points out, the song was an Amazon exclusive, unavailable on Spotify or Apple Music.
So: how did it become so successful? It seems that Amazon front-loaded the song across their Christmas playlists, guaranteeing an enormous amount of streaming traction.
Equally, the way the charts are compiled mean that any song older than three years old isn't weighted as heavily as a new release, squeezing out evergreen favourites such as Mariah Carey.
The madness of the current singles chart is laid bare here, folks.— Lee Thompson (@leethommo) December 27, 2019
Ellie Goulding is No.1, despite only being on YouTube & Amazon (not Spotify).
Mariah and Wham were streamed everywhere almost twice as much as her.
But they're penalised for being more than 3 yrs old.
Meaning that Ellie Goulding isn't even the most listened to artist this week - she's simply the most listened to new releases. Here's the thread in full.
In a fitting end to the 2010s, Jeff Bezos is responsible for the last Number 1 Single of the year, Ellie Goulding's "River" (by Joni Mitchell).— dan barker (@danbarker) December 28, 2019
1. You can't find it on Spotify, Apple, Google.
2. That's because - aside from Youtube - it's Amazon exclusive.
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