Spotify has unveiled Wrapped 2019, an annual end of year summary that reveals the top artists, albums, songs, playlists and podcasts streamed on the platform. ‘Wrapped’ showcases how more than 248 million people around the world listened to and discovered music and podcasts in 2019, taking a look at music, culture and streaming through the eyes (and ears) of the fans and artists that made it all possible.
Spotify has revealed that, globally, Post Malone is the most streamed artist this year. This is the first time the rapper-singer-songwriter tops Spotify’s Wrapped list, just over 12 weeks after dropping his latest album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, which is also the second most streamed album globally and the most streamed album in South Africa this year.
Khalid came in at the top spot for the most streamed artist in South Africa, followed by Post Malone and Drake.
AmaPiano dominated South African dance floors in 2019, so it comes as no surprise that AmaPiano breakout star Kabza De Small is the most streamed local artist in South Africa this year, followed closely by DJ Maphorisa, with Hip Hop mega star Nasty C taking the third spot.
Female voices were a force on Spotify in 2019, with Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande coming in as the second and third most streamed artists globally. Our second most streamed artist of 2019, 17-year-old singer/songwriter Billie Eilish, had an earth-shaking breakout year. She surpassed 6 billion streams this year alone, and her album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? is 2019’s most streamed album of the year on Spotify, marking the first time a female-led album has topped “Wrapped.” Billie Eilish also made it onto the most streamed artist in South Africa list at number 5 and WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? was the second most streamed album in South Africa. Shekhinah, who recently opened for legendary RnB singer Toni Braxton, remained the most streamed local female artist in South Africa. Lady Zamar,whose much anticipated second album Monarch, churned out more chart-topping hits, followed in second place with Afrikaans rock artist, Karen Zoid, claiming the third spot.
The year’s most streamed song globally is Señorita by Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello with more than 1 billion streams, followed closely by Billie Eilish’s hit track “bad guy” with more than 990 million streams.
While Post Malone and Billie Eilish dominated global streaming lists, they also featured prominently in South Africa’s most streamed songs for 2019. Post Malone claimed the first and fifth spots, with Sunflower featuring Swae Lee as the most streamed song and wow in fifth position and Billie Eilish’s bad guy taking the fourth spot.
Closer to home, South Africans showed their support for local artists with Drive by Black Coffee and David Guetta (featuring Delilah Montagu) maintaining its position as the most streamed song, spearheaded by a local artist. Fetch Your Life by Prince Kaybee and Msaki is the second most streamed song in South Africa, with Dames by Biggy, the song that became a viral sensation locally, in at number three.
Prince Kaybe and Kabza De Small also feature on the list of most streamed South African albums in South Africa. Prince Kaybee’s Re Mmino topped the list with Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa’s Scorpion Kings in the second most streamed album slot.
2019 was a massive year for podcast growth on Spotify. Globally there are now more than 500,000 podcast titles available on platform and Spotify’s global podcast audience has grown by more than 50% since the start of the year.
As part of Wrapped 2019, Spotify has launched the Wrapped Microsite that allows users to get a personalised Wrapped experience tailored just for them. For the first time, listeners will be able to access this experience directly in the Spotify app on mobile and tablet and via a website at spotify.com/2019.Results can be shared to Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook with a personalised “Wrapped” share card.
A snapshot of the “Wrapped” 2019 Top Global and South Africa results can be found below.
Spotify Wrapped 2019 – South Africa Top Lists
Most Streamed Artists in South Africa
2. Post Malone
4. Ed Sheeran
7. Chris Brown
10. J. Cole
Most Streamed Tracks in South Africa
Most Streamed Albums – in South Africa
10. Scorpion – Drake
Most Streamed Female Artists in South Africa
4. Taylor Swift
8. Nicki Minaj
9. Cardi B
10. Bebe Rexha
Most Streamed South African Artists in South Africa
2. DJ Maphorisa
3. Nasty C
6. Black Coffee
Most Streamed South African Tracks in South Africa
Most Streamed South African Albums in South Africa
Most Streamed South African Female Artists in South Africa
2. Lady Zamar
3. Karen Zoid
6. Ami Faku
9. Sho Madjozi
Most Streamed South African Male Artists in South Africa
2. DJ Maphorisa
3. Nasty C
6. Black Coffee
Spotify Wrapped 2019 – Global Top Lists
Most Streamed Artists
1. Post Malone
4. Ed Sheeran
5. Bad Bunny
Most Streamed Albums
Most Streamed Tracks
Security issues grow with transition to smart TVs
You can’t picture a modern home without smart equipment. Smart thermostats, smart refrigerators, robot vacuums, and smart TVs won’t surprise anyone these days. For example, around 70% of the TVs being sold worldwide are smart TVs. Although they bring more entertainment, these devices also carry new digital threats.
Sometimes people forget that smart TVs are as vulnerable to cybercrime as their smartphones and computers. Daniel Markuson, the digital privacy expert at NordVPN, says that “although smart TVs are connected to the internet and have similar functions to computers, they aren’t equipped with the same security tools, which makes them easy prey for hackers.”
What’s so scary about your TV getting hacked? As smart TVs gain more features, the amount of your private information they handle increases too. TVs aren’t just for watching movies and shows anymore. Now you can use them for web browsing, streaming video content, gaming, and even shopping online.
To enjoy your smart TV to the fullest, you need to download various apps and games. These cost money, so you need your credit card details filled in. Putting your financial information, logins, and passwords on your TV makes it an appealing target for hacking.
According to Daniel Markuson, a smart TV can be used to spy on its users. Hackers can access its camera and microphone through malware, which they can slip into your TV when it is connected to Wi-Fi. They can use footage from your bedroom or living room to blackmail you and your family. By watching your home and listening to your conversations, hackers know what goods you have, where you keep them when you’re away, and what your plans are.
If you use your smart TV for web browsing, you can infect it with various viruses too, says the digital privacy expert at NordVPN. Like computers, smart TVs run on software, but they don’t have the same strong antivirus and firewall systems installed. Once your TV gets infected, your browsing history, passwords, and other private data become accessible to hackers. And they won’t miss the opportunity to use this information in ransomware attacks.
Even though smart TVs are vulnerable to cyber threats, Daniel Markuson says there is no need to panic yet. The expert names a few simple principles every smart TV owner should follow to protect their device.
Always update your TV’s software whenever a new version becomes available. The expert says that software updates are crucial for cybersecurity as manufacturers do their best to patch vulnerabilities. Updates often repair security flaws, fix or remove various bugs, add new features, and improve the existing ones. Some TVs install updates automatically by default. With others, you may need to check for updates periodically to make sure your device runs on the latest version.
Use available security measures such as a VPN. The best practice for any internet-connected device is to install a firewall and use a VPN such as NordVPN. It secures your device and lets you enjoy fast internet access with encryption-powered privacy.
Connect your smart TV to the internet only when needed. It isn’t necessary to have your TV connected to Wi-Fi all the time. To make it less vulnerable to hacker attacks, turn on the Wi-Fi connection only when you are using it.
Download apps from official stores only. Do not install any programs and games from unofficial sources on your smart TV. Make sure that both the app and its provider are reliable. Moreover, if an application asks for access to your data, camera, or microphone that isn’t necessary for its operation, never accept it.
Be careful with personal files and financial data. Shopping online on a big smart TV screen might be fun, but be careful providing your credit card details and other sensitive information this way. Although some manufacturers equip their TV sets with security features, they cannot guarantee safety online. “People who synchronize their smart TVs with their computers to access compatible media content should be especially cautious,” warns Daniel Markuson. The connection between your smart TV and your computer can be a weak link and lead to a data breach.
Use strong Wi-Fi passwords. This practice is the most obvious and the easiest to follow. Create a strong password to protect your Wi-Fi connection at home and don’t share it with any outsiders.
Turn off your TV camera when not in use. Whether it’s a built-in camera or the one connected to a TV via Wi-Fi, turn it off when not using it. If you can’t turn off your camera, use a piece of tape or a sticker over the camera lens to cover it.
Tech too complex? It stresses out even the tech-savvy
Even the savviest members of the tech industry get stressed by common devices that power their everyday lives, according to a recent poll conducted at CES 2020 by Asurion, the global leader in helping people connect, protect and enjoy their tech.
Asurion surveyed nearly 1,400 attendees of CES 2020, the world’s largest and most influential tech industry event, about their relationship with personal tech and their role as tech expert for family and friends. What the tech care company found is that even the tech-savvy, tech DIY’ers and early adopters stress out over some of the most ordinary devices in our hands and homes.
So, what tech tops the list of devices that stress out some of the consumer electronics industry’s tech enthusiasts?
- Mesh routers and Wi-Fi networks (33%)
- Phones (26%)
- Smart home security systems (23%)
And, the tech-related activities that even the tech-savvy dread the most?
- Troubleshooting a device that worked perfectly yesterday (39%)
- Device security (27%)
- Setting up devices (nearly 27%)
Asurion helps nearly 300 million customers worldwide unlock the potential of their tech with a team of over 10,000 Experts who are just a call, click or tap away. The company’s Experts provide ongoing tech support, same-day device repair, and same-day delivery and setup services. They’ll meet customers virtually, in-home, at select partner stores, and in more than 540 uBreakiFix stores across the country or wherever it’s convenient.
“The tech industry just spent four amazing days experiencing and celebrating the latest innovations in the future of tech,” said Teresa May, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Asurion. “What we heard is that even common tech tasks and devices can be challenging. Every day, our Experts help people across the country with their devices – everything from setting up a new phone to troubleshooting streaming issues on their smart TVs. Our CES poll reveals that the industry’s top tech innovators share the same pain points affecting millions of Americans.”
Asurion’s Experts received more than 18.5 million calls and chats from customers seeking tech help last year. And while the No. 1 question this holiday was a strong “How do I activate my new phone?” Asurion Experts also received many questions ranging from “How do I connect to Wi-Fi?” to “Can I sync my smart speakers to play them in tandem?”
And while the tech industry may have tech challenges of their own, they also get tapped by family and friends for help. Eight out of 10 attendees surveyed said their family and friends rely on them to help set up and troubleshoot their tech. Nearly two-thirds (63%) said they hesitate to gift tech to their loved ones because the recipient won’t know how to use it, and nearly half (46%) gave pause to gifting tech to family and friends because they didn’t want to be the one to help set it up.
Asurion CES Tech Poll
Consumer Tech Devices That Stress CES Attendees Out the Most
1. Mesh Routers and Wi-Fi Networks (33%)
2. Phones (26%)
3. Smart Home Security Systems (23%)
4. Smart Home Assistants/Hubs (20%)
5. Bluetooth Printers (19%)
6. Smart Home Automation (19%)
7. Laptops/Tablets (18%)
8. Smart TVs (17%)
9. Smart Appliances (14%)
10. Home Energy, Lighting and Switches (13%)
Tech Activities That Stress Out CES Attendees the Most
1. Troubleshooting Tech That Worked Perfectly Yesterday (39%)
2. Security (27%)
3. Setting up a Device (27%)
4. Privacy (23%)
5. Helping Others With Their Tech (20%)
6. Managing or Connecting Multiple Devices (19%)
7. Wi-Fi Connectivity (19%)
8. Paying for Personal Data Storage (18%)
9. Learning a New Operating System (17%)
10. Choosing Which Brand To Purchase (17%)
To learn more about where you can get tech support and protection, visit Asurion.com.