Pharrell ruled EU radio in 2014 – but Milky Chance stuck up for the independents

Stolen Dance by German duo Milky Chance was the only fully independent track in the Top 50 biggest songs on European radio last year – and the fourth most-heard overall.

Pharrell Williams’ Happy (RCA) was the most-heard song in Europe – including the UK – with more than 670,000 plays across 1,613 stations, leading to 21.8 billion ‘impacts’*.

That’s according to MBW analysis of data from international airplay authority Radiomonitor.

Waves by Mr Probz was 2014’s second biggest radio track in Europe, with 18.5bn impacts from 1,256 stations.

It was followed by Nico & Vinz’s Am I Wrong on Parlophone at No.3 with 16.4bn impacts from 1,226 stations.

And then there was German duo Milky Chance’s Stolen Dance on Lichtdicht/[PIAS] at No.4 – with 313, 819 plays and 15.8bn impacts.

The song rather sticks out on the Top 50 list due to its independent release structure. Indeed, it was the sole ‘true independent’ release anywhere in the rankings.

Only two other songs in the Top 50 list had independent roots: Sigma’s Nobody To Love at No.23 – released by 3 Beat/Universal – and Klingande’s Jubel, which was released on the artist’s own label but licensed through major labels in certain territories.

There were two more independent tracks in Europe’s Top 100 list, according to RadioMonitor data: German rapper Cro’s Traum at No.79 (Groove Attack) and Adele’s Rolling In The Deep at No.91 (Beggars).

“It is mind-blowing to be a part of this. We’re an independent run by a couple of friends. Stolen Dance changed our lives. it will definitely be something we tell our grandchildren about someday.”

Tobias Herder, Lichtdicht

[PIAS] Group MD Edwin Schroter told MBW: “What is most played on radio does not just reflect the preference of listeners but shapes them too. So it is sad to see that the increasing market share of independent music [sales] around the world is not represented in international airplay charts.

“What is encouraging, though, is that in this increasingly stats-focused, major label-dominated global radio climate, a huge hit can still originate from anywhere in the world and be delivered fully independently across every European territory, enabling an artist like Milky Chance to do things on their own terms.”

Milky Chance, aka Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch, release their material through [PIAS] but on their own label, Lichtdicht Records, which they co-run with their manager Tobias Herder.

Commented Herder: “We are very happy that Stolen Dance became such a big hit. For us it is still mind-blowing to be part of this – especially as an independent label run by a couple of friends. It changed our lives and it will definitely be something we tell our grandchildren about someday.”

Stolen Dance was particularly successful in Milky Chance’s home country of Germany.

It was the second biggest radio hit of the year in the territory, according to Radiomonitor data – with 74,765 plays and 6 billion impacts – behind Mr. Probz’s Waves.

The duo released their debut album, Sadnecessary, in May 2014.

Stolen Chance, originally released in 2013, came to prominence after Rehbein uploaded the track to YouTube and attracted over half-a-million views – and entered the German singles charts.

The song now has over 100 million views on the act’s official YouTube channel.

* ‘Impacts’ are the number of unique ‘listens’ a song receives on the radio. As you can tell, in a full year across Europe – with a population of 725m – they add up fast.

European Radio’s Top 5 biggest songs of 2014
  1. Pharrell Williams, Happy (RCA; 670,542 plays from 1,613 stations = 21.83bn impacts)
  2. Mr Probz, Waves (Sony Music; 472,251 plays from 1256 stations = 18.49bn impacts)
  3. Nico & Vinz, Am I Wrong (Parlophone; 413, 204 plays from 1,226 stations = 16.39bn impacts)
  4. Milky Chance, Stolen Dance ([PIAS]; 313,819 plays from 1,178 stations = 15.82bn impacts)
  5. Clean Bandit feat Jess Glynne, Rather Be (535,270 plays from 1,285 stations = 15.6bn impacts)

 Music Business Worldwide

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