News & Jukebox Chart

Ed and Shoulders Above the Rest

Soundnet and TouchTunes have released their combined music play charts for 2021 and it appears that brand new releases combined with a strong back catalogue are best when it comes to the UK pub-goers music tastes.

Only Ed Sheeran strikes a current note, sitting at the top of the charts with his single ‘Bad Habits’ which received more than double the plays of nearest rival. Undoubtedly, his strong performance this year was boosted by his new album release at the tail end of this year.

“The huge amount of plays Ed Sheeran has received underlines the importance of jukeboxes receiving key releases as quickly as possible,” says Lee Taylor, Head of Music at  Soundnet.

The Soundnet online estate benefits from receiving key new albums and singles at the earliest opportunity. Albums and singles are usually released on a Friday, so by Saturday switch on, they can immediately take advantage of that new content which has been uploaded overnight. The same applies to the online TouchTunes estate, which is constantly being updated with new content.

The top 10 most played artists therefore stand as follows:

Ed Sheeran
Fleetwood Mac
David Bowie
The Beatles
Neil Diamond


“’Sweet Caroline’ gave a huge resurgence for Neil Diamond, boosted by the track becoming an anthem during the Euro football championships. The power of a jukebox to add atmosphere and entertainment during key events such as the Euros and next year’s World Cup make them an essential addition to a venue,” adds Lee.

Kenny Rogers – The Gambler also persists as an ever-present outlier in the top played tracks.

Soundnet/TouchTunes predictions for a Christmas number one are as follows, “Ed Sheeran and Elton John’s ‘Merry Christmas’ has made a strong showing with its first week sales but may have been released a little too early to grab the top spot,” says Lee. “Ed and Elton may get overtaken by later releases by LadBaby who may or may not try for a 4th Xmas number one in a row. Another possible novelty number one could come from the ‘Have A Word Pod’ team.

“Other, less novelty based contenders come from George Ezra with ‘Come On Home For Christmas’ or ABBA who included the Xmas song ‘Little Things’ on their recent comeback album.”

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