Picking the song of summer for 2016 from a pool of proven candidates (Calvin Harris and Rihanna, Justin Timberlake) and promising newcomers (The Chainsmokers, Kiiara) is one of the season’s fun pastimes. What determines a song’s staying power over the next few sweltering months? What makes a song an instant barbeque and beach party classic?
Thanks to raw numbers and trends observed by Shazam, the process of predicting this summer’s reigning song is that much easier. “Our predictive data is powered by a global community of hundreds of millions of listeners and are a great barometer of the summer’s biggest songs,” says CEO Rich Riley. “This year was particularly tough as there are so many great songs with breakout potential. The 2016 list includes superstars like Keith Urban and emerging artists like LANco and Bishop Briggs. Their tracks are trending up and haven’t yet peaked but are gaining traction or demonstrating a Shazam spike in a specific region.”
What do the numbers tell us about what the next three months may hold?
1. Drake‘s “One Dance”
The tropical track has been on a tear since its release, dancing straight to No. 1 on the U.S. and UK Shazam charts. The track has reached 3.5 million worldwide Shazams and shows no signs of slowing down.
2. Desiigner‘s “Panda”
Desiigner’s unexpected hit has 1.6 million Shazams, placing it at No. 7 on the Shazam U.S. Chart. “‘Panda’ is poised to continue to be a major hit throughout the summer,” says Riley.
3. Calvin Harris and Rihanna‘s “This Is What You Came For”
The sequel to their dizzying 2011 hit “We Found Love” garnered more than 345,000 Shazams in its first week. “If early reaction is any indication, it seems likely to be a track played across dance floors all summer long,” says Riley.
4. Kiiara‘s “Gold”
Illinois native Kiiara’s already found success down under with “Gold” which reached No. 5 on Australian charts, and Shazam metrics say she’s bound for similar success in the states.
5. The Strumbellas‘ “Spirits”
With more than 1 million Shazams since its release, “Spirits” sits at No. 33 on the Worldwide Shazam chart. The Strumbellas’ self-described “folk popgrass” sound could be this summer’s dark horse.
6. gnash feat. olivia o’brien’s “I Hate U, I Love U”
The breakout single by gnash and olivia o’brien is scaling the Worldwide Shazam chart — it’s currently at No. 46 — with more than 500,000 Shazams since its release. The downbeat track is a nontraditional song of summer nominee, but listeners seeking something different from dancefloor fillers will gravitate to it.
9. Era Istrefi‘s “Bonbon”
The Albanian songstress, who brings to mind both Sia and Rihanna, is seeing global success with the bilingual “Bonbon.” Reaching the top 25 of the Shazam Worldwide Chart with just over 1.5 million Shazams, “Bonbon” proves the boundary-transcending power of a good beat.
10. Keith Urban‘s “Wasted Time”
With more than 120,000 Shazams since its release, “Wasted Time” is already one of the biggest country hits of 2016.
11. The Chainsmokers feat. Daya’s “Don’t Let Me Down”
“Don’t Let Me Down” boasts some of the strongest Shazam numbers of all candidates: It now has more than 2 million Shazams, and it sits at No. 2 on both the Shazam U.S. Chart and the Worldwide Dance Chart.
12. Justin Timberlake‘s “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”
Justin Timberlake’s funky hit amassed more than 100,000 Shazams in its first 24 hours, and the number’s only been climbing since then.
Bishop Briggs‘ “River”
“We noticed Bishop Briggs back in November in the U.S. from people Shazaming her song from an Acura commercial,” says Riley. “River” is currently No. 15 on the U.S. Shazam Future Hits charts, and it’s rising fast.
?LANco’s “Long Live Tonight”
“If early Shazam activity in Los Angeles and Kansas City are any indication, ‘Long Live Tonight’ is going to be one of the surprise songs of the summer,” says Riley.