* British group One Direction tops popularity list
* New ranking includes online streaming, downloads
* Streaming now mainstream, IFPI communications chief says
LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Boy band One Direction was named the most popular recording artist of 2013 on Wednesday, in a record industry award that for the first time counted streaming numbers on services such as Spotify and Deezer as well as CD sales and downloads.
Streaming music has soared in popularity in recent years and Spotify boasts 24 million active users around the world.
“Streaming has become so much more mainstream within the music industry worldwide over the last couple of years we thought it was time we integrated the streams-on services such as Deezer and Spotify and YouTube as well,” IFPI communications manager Alex Jacob said.
U.S. rapper Eminem took No. 2 spot with Justin Timberlake coming in third.
Britain’s One Direction released its third studio album “Midnight Memories” last year, which topped the U.S. Billboard Top 200 chart, making One Direction the first group in the chart’s history to debut at No. 1 with its first three albums.
“Incredible news! It’s great to have a chart that includes everything from iTunes and record stores, to YouTube and Spotify,” Niall Horan of One Direction said in a statement.
“Again a huge thank you to all of our fans for such an amazing 2013.”
Eminem released his eighth album in 2013, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2”, while Justin Timberlake had a number of hits last year, such as “Mirrors” and “Take Back the Night”.
Other artists who made it to the IFPI top 10 were Rihanna, French electronic duo Daft Punk - who recently picked up two Grammys, and Katy Perry. (Reporting by Julia Fioretti; Editing by Michael Roddy and Louise Ireland)