One Direction were the most popular global recording artists of 2013, outperforming Eminem, Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake, the first complete analysis of digital downloads, streaming and physical sales has found.
International trade body IFPI named the UK boyband Global Recording Artists of 2013, a newly-created award, following the success of their third studio album Midnight Memories, which contained the hit singles "Best Song Ever" and "Story of My Life".
The album topped the Billboard Top 200, making One Direction the first group ever to debut at No 1 in the US with its first three albums. It also topped the charts in countries from Australia to the UK.
The video for "Best Song Ever" attracted almost 200 million views on YouTube and "Story of My Life"’s video recorded more than 100 million views. The band’s music was also heavily streamed on services such as Deezer and Spotify.
However, the X Factor-created quintet were the only UK act in a top ten dominated by North American artists.
The IFPI published its first global recording artists chart to “accurately capture the popularity of artists across streaming channels, alongside digital and physical album and singles sales.”
The independently verified chart includes sales of albums – across digital, CD and vinyl formats; singles, both downloaded and physical; on-demand streams and music videos. The chart includes all the music of each artist featured, not just one track or album. It uses track and album equivalents to combine measurements of downloads, physical sales and streams.
Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, said: “Many congratulations to One Direction who topped a talented field to become the IFPI Global Recording Artists of 2013. This is a global IFPI award for a new era of music consumption, based on a new metric of global success. Our chart for the first time measures the popularity of artists across the many different ways in which fans choose their music.”
One Direction are tipped to win the Global Success Brit award, given to the UK artists which has achieved the greatest international sales, for the second-year running at next month’s ceremony.