A Spanish language song called Despacito has become the most streamed song of all time.
The single by Louise Fonsi is currently number one in the U.K. and has been played 4.6 billion times worldwide, overtaking Justin Bieber's Sorry. Our reporter is Mark Savage.
It was a hit all around Latin America at the start of the year. It was number one in 12 countries. It's sung in Spanish. It's a very unique mix of the kind of Latin balladry and reggaeton, which is a kind of Latin American rap style. So it caught on hugely over there but did nothing in Europe in the English speaking world until Justin Bieber heard it in a nightclub and said, “I'd like to be part of this song” recorded a verse. And suddenly three weeks after that, it's number one in the US, it's starting to come to number one in the U.K., and now it's number one in 35 countries around the world.
How long might we expect it to stay in the top spot then?
Well I mean I think in the U.K., it's been 10 weeks at number one, the same in the U.S. I think it could be there for quite a long time to come because I don’t see any big releases on the horizon. There’s One Direction solo acts who may give a bit of a challenge for a week, but then they'll drop away. It's summer pretty much everywhere now. So the song is even better when you're outside. It feels like it's got a bit of longevity. The question for Louis Fonsi, who recorded it, is what does he do next. How do you beat this? And we spoke to him yesterday. He said, “To be honest, I don't think I ever will.
Now as you say it was already a pretty successful song. And then Mr. Bieber got involved. How would you say streaming is changing music?
Well I think the interesting thing here is that this song probably wouldn't have been playlisted by radio stations in the English speaking world. Particularly, you know, Spanish songs do not do well in America and the U.K. The last time there was a Spanish language number one in America was the Macarena in 1996. In the U.K., there was a song called Las Ketchup in 2002. That was the Spanish language number one. So streaming has kind of democratized music as a whole. If people find a song that they like and they latch on to it, they will play it repeatedly and repeatedly. And then that will influence the people who are programming radio. So it is changing the way that people discover and listen to music.
Yes I said Mr. Bieber.