Who rules the airwaves? REVEALED: Most played artist and pop track in 2015

Today, music licensing company PPL announces its annual PPL People’s Charts, revealing Ed Sheeran as the Most Played Artist, and Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson as the Most Played Pop Track of the Year, in 2015 in the UK.

Ed Sheeran jumps to first place in the Most Played Artist of the Year Chart after featuring at number three in the same Chart last year. His success comes largely from the broadcast and public use of the hugely popular Thinking Out Loud, Photograph and Bloodstream (with Rudimental). Taylor Swift charts at number two, whilst Olly Murs, for whom this marks a fifth successive year in the top ten Most Played Artist of the Year Chart, is at number three. With only three months of airplay for her new material in 2015, Adele’s impact is more likely to be seen in the PPL People’s Charts in 2016.

Aggregated using PPL’s exclusive UK music usage and airplay data, the PPL People’s Charts are the only music charts to show the popularity of tracks being played both by broadcasters and in public by businesses across the UK. The music usage and airplay data is supplied by PPL's licensees, including radio stations and television channels, as well as businesses such as pubs, restaurants, shops, offices, gyms, and many other business types.

Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars tops the Most Played Pop Track Chart. As with previous frontrunners, Happy by Pharrell Williams and Get Lucky by Daft Punk, Uptown Funk is an anthem set to be a timeless classic.

Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do and James Bay’s Hold Back The River come in at second and third place respectively in the Most Played Pop Track Chart. For Ellie, this marks her most successful song to enter the PPL chart following Burn, which featured at number 16 last year. James Bay makes his first appearance in the Chart this year. All six of the top charting Most Played Pop Tracks are by British acts, including Years & Years and Jess Glynne.

The PPL People’s Charts are released annually in June at the company’s AGM, which this year takes place on 2 June at King’s Place, London.  

PPL works on behalf of performers and record companies to license recorded music that is broadcast and played in public across the UK. Members include major record labels and independents as well as globally successful performers and session musicians, ranging from orchestral players to percussionists and singers.

In 2015, PPL collected £197 million on behalf of its members for usage of their recorded music both in the UK and internationally. 

See the PPL People’s Charts in full below:


1. Ed Sheeran
2. Taylor Swift
3. Olly Murs
4. Take That
5. Ellie Goulding
6. Sam Smith
7. Jess Glynne
8. Years & Years
9. Mark Ronson
10. Maroon 5
11. Coldplay
12. Calvin Harris
13. James Bay
14. George Ezra
15. Madonna
16. Rihanna
17. Queen
18. Michael Jackson
19. Katy Perry
20. Adele 



1. Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
2. Love Me Like You Do, Ellie Goulding
3. Hold Back The River, James Bay
4. King, Years & Years
5. Hold My Hand, Jess Glynne
6. Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran
7. Sugar, Maroon 5
8. Want To Want Me, Jason Derulo
9. Up, Demi Lovato and Olly Murs
10. Style, Taylor Swift
11. Like I Can, Sam Smith
12. These Days, Take That
13. Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix), OMI
14. Don't Be So Hard On Yourself, Jess Glynne
15. Take Me To Church, Hozier
16. Shut Up and Dance, Walk The Moon
17. Photograph, Ed Sheeran
18. Black Magic, Little Mix
19. Blame It on Me, George Ezra
20. Blank Space, Taylor Swift