‘chasing cars’ by snow patrol the most played track of the 21st century

Released in June 2006, it reached number six in the UK Official Singles Chart, staying in the top 75 for 94 weeks, a run that hinted at the song’s impending, enduring appeal. It was that year’s 14th best-selling single in the UK and has the distinction of being the last song performed live on the BBC’s Top of the Pops. PPL’s data, which tracks all recordings played by radio and television broadcasters, and in public by businesses and organisations across the UK, revealed ten years ago in 2009 that it was the Most Played song of the Noughties.

The announcement comes as part of PPL’s 85th anniversary celebrations, highlighting its work as the UK music industry’s licensing company for performers and recording rightsholders. Formed in 1934, as the first such organisation in the world, PPL pays out to musicians and labels when their recordings are broadcast on TV and radio or used in public. In that time, it has collected over £3.2 billion with £2.6 billion of that collected this century.

Gary Lightbody, lead singer of Snow Patrol, was presented with a special award at PPL’s 85th celebrations at the OXO Tower in London on Tuesday 16 July.

The second Most Played song was ‘I Gotta Feeling’ by Black Eyed Peas, and ‘Happy’ by Pharrell came in third. It’s placement on film and TV, such as in Grey’s Anatomy second series, showed the song’s ability to connect with a wide audience; indeed, one day after the DVD release of the season, the song went to number one in the US iTunes download chart.

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer at PPL, said:

“‘Chasing Cars’ is a song that has become a popular anthem, securing huge success across radio, in public and especially TV where its huge appeal has led to its use in many programmes and especially Grey’s Anatomy. These platforms can dramatically extend the life of a record beyond its initial release, and PPL is here to collect the royalties owed to the performers and recording rightsholders of that song, whenever and wherever it is used. We congratulate Snow Patrol for writing and performing a track of such long-lasting appeal.”

For media enquiries, contact David Cohen, PPL Communications and PR Manager, at david.cohen@ppluk.com