NEW YORK • One Direction have proved that they are still going strong without Zayn Malik, as the boy band's new song breaks streaming records.
Spotify, the leading streaming platform, said on Monday that the British group's Drag Me Down was the most listened-to song ever on a single day.
It was streamed 4.75 million times on its first day.
Drag Me Down is the first song to hit No. 1 on Spotify's global chart on the day of release, said the platform, which has 75 million active users.
The song shot to No. 1 on the first day in 15 countries, including Canada, France, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States, although not in the band's native Britain, where it was at No. 3 position on Monday.
Released without previous publicity last Friday, Drag Me Down is One Direction's first song since Malik left in March, which led to acrimonious exchanges on social media among members of a group who had preserved a squeaky-clean public image.
Drag Me Down is a song about gathering strength from one's lover and largely keeps One Direction's soft pop style, but has a reggae- influenced guitar line.
The previous single-day record was set by rapper Wiz Khalifa for See You Again, a tribute to actor Paul Walker, who died in a car crash in 2013.
The song was streamed 4.26 million times on April 17, weeks after it came out, but shortly after it appeared in Walker's last film, Fast & Furious 7.
One Direction broke onto the music scene as teenagers in 2010, when they appeared on the British talent show The X Factor.
The band have since sold more than 65 million albums, releasing a new work each year from 2011 to 2014 just before the year-end holiday shopping season.