Shazam reveals most searched-for songs of all time

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Sia, Ed Sheeran and Tones And IImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Sia, Ed Sheeran and Tones And I all made the top 10

Australian pop star Tones And I has the most-Shazamed song of all time, with her 2019 breakout hit Dance Monkey.

More than 200 million people a month use the Shazam app to identify songs they have heard but don't know the names of.

Dance Monkey, which was written about the singer's experiences of busking in Byron Bay, has been Shazamed 36.6 million times, the company said.

Second place went to Lilly Wood & The Prick's 2014 hit Prayer In C.

Tones And I, the stage name of singer-songwriter Toni Watson, said the app had been invaluable for her career.

"I didn't have a following when I released Dance Monkey, but [Shazam] gave me the opportunity to reach more people and elevate my fanbase, which has all led to creating a career for myself," she said in a statement.

Dance Monkey spent 11 weeks at number one in the UK at the end of last year, and topped the charts in 29 other countries. It also holds the record for the most Shazamed song in a single day.

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Shazam's all-time chart shows that dance music and quirky pop are the most commonly searched-for genres, with Avicii's Wake Me Up and OMI's Cheerleader both ranking highly.

Four of the top 10 are one-hit wonders, including Gotye's 2012 chart-topper Somebody That I Used To Know and Passenger's Let Her Go, from 2013.

On the other hand, Ed Sheeran appears three times in the top 20, meaning some people heard Thinking Out Loud being played for the millionth time and wondered, "Who sings that one again?"

Sheeran ties with The Weeknd for the most entries in the overall top 100, with four each, while Sia, Sam Smith, Clean Bandit and Imagine Dragons have three apiece.

The top 20 looks like this:

Most Shazamed songs of all time. .  .

The full top 100 is available on Apple Music.

How does Shazam work?

Shazam's technology works by analysing the unique sonic fingerprint of a song - and matches the audio you send via your phone to the music in its database.

When it launched in 2002, it was called 2580 - the phone number users dialled to access the service.

At the time, it had one million songs in its database and took 15 seconds to process a user's request - sending the results back via text message.

Today, it can take as little as two seconds to comb through tens of millions songs, and can cope with remixes, background noise and cover versions.

The company first turned a profit in 2016 and was sold to Apple for a reported $400m (£302m) a year later.

Apple's hope was that the app would drive users to its streaming service, Apple Music. The user data would also give them insight into the music people were listening to, which could be used to influence playlists and the songs promoted on its homepage.

Since then, Apple Music's subscriber base has topped 60 million, putting it in second place to Spotify.

Shazam has recently launched a Discovery Top 50 playlist, which shows the songs being searched for around the world. The UK chart is currently led by I Can't Remember Love, a smoky piano ballad that features in the Netflix series The Queen's Gambit.

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