Pop star Ed Sheeran had the most-viewed artist’s account on TikTok this year, according to figures from the video-sharing platform.
Sheeran, 30, launched three exclusive single previews from his album Equals on TikTok this year, and 5.5 million people tuned in to watch his record-breaking live performance at the Uefa Euro 2020 show, the social media platform has revealed in its Year On TikTok Music Report.
The report, an analysis of the songs and artists who have “dominated” the platform in the UK this year, features singer Sam Ryder in second position, with KSI and Yungblud following on in the top five.
Singer and The Voice coach Anne-Marie, Mimi Webb, The Stickmen and The 202 Band also feature in the top 10 most-viewed artist accounts.
2021 has been a landmark year for TikTok, our artists and partners across the UK music industryPaul Hourican, TikTok
Sheeran has just under 10 million TikTok followers and his account is just shy of garnering 80 million likes, leading to him overtaking last year’s leading artist, Essex-based singer-songwriter Ryder, for the amount of people viewing the account.
Sheeran, who released album Equals in October, also had the most new followers this year, with Niall Horan, Coldplay, and Dua Lipa – whose music is consistently at the centre of TikTok trends – all making major gains.
Both established and up-and-coming artists were building a community of fans on TikTok, as this year’s most viewed artist accounts varied from Yungblud’s passionate speeches on inclusion to Here At Last’s upbeat videos.
Despite being overtaken as the most viewed artist, Ryder continued to reign supreme as the artist with the most followers in the UK and Ireland, having accumulated 11 million fans and nearly 92 million likes on his account.
This year was host to the UK’s first number one drill track, Body by Tion Wayne and Russ Millions, crowned TikTok’s number one track by a UK artist.
Sam Smith’s Like I Can and PinkPantheress’ breakout hit Just For Me follow, while other favourites like Dua Lipa’s Levitating, Nathan Evan’s Wellerman remix with 220 KID & Billen Ted, and Wes Nelson’s Nice to Meet Ya also feature in the top 10.
Together, the top 10 UK songs have racked up 219 billion video views on 131 million video creations.
Similarly, 40 trending TikTok songs took the top spot in the UK official charts, compared with just 10 in 2020.
Paul Hourican, head of music operations EU and UK for TikTok, said: “2021 has been a landmark year for TikTok, our artists and partners across the UK music industry, a year when our artist community and sounds became even bigger and more diverse and when fans discovered and rediscovered incredible music, both new and old.
“The ascent of Body from Tion Wayne and Russ Millions, the reimagining of sea shanties by Nathan Evans, the long-anticipated new music of Ed Sheeran, the rise of #busker, and Pink Pantheress’ global success have all made 2021 truly unique.”