Road trips and roller skates lead Spotify streaming trend report, as podcasts boom

Spotify has released a new tranche of playlist data on recent streaming trends.

There are now more than 1.3M quarantine themed playlists on Spotify globally, and some of the most predictable popular track additions between May and July including: Stuck With U by Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, Bored In The House by Tyga and Curtis Roach,  Lockdown by Anderson Paak and Exile by Taylor Swift with Bon Iver. 

Cycling and roller skating/rollerblading appear the most popular sporting activities, with more than 54,000 playlists created globally around these pastimes.

The streaming giant also reports a shift in the overall valence – or vibe – of the music listeners around the world. “In July, we saw our listeners streaming more upbeat music compared to previous months. If July was the happiest month so far in 2020 then we can point to April as the month where listeners were streaming “sadder” or more downtempo tracks.”

As befits the summer, there’s been a 92 per cent increase in the creation of road trip playlists from June to July. The countries which have created the most roadtrips are the United States, followed by the UK, Australia, Canada and Germany.

Most popular songs added to road trip playlists include: Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles, Here Comes The Sun by the Beatles, Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus, Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey, Livin’ On A Prayer by Bon Jovi, and Hey Ya! by OutKast.

Listeners also seem to be seeking fresh air, with a nearly 140 per cent  increase of camping-themed playlists. Camping-themed playlists are particularly big in Canada, The Netherlands, Australia and Germany.

Spotify also notes a 24 per cent increase in users streaming music and podcasts in offline mode.

Spotify reportedly saw its paying subscriber base rise to 124 million listeners at the end of Q1 2020, with podcast listening increasing by 200 percent year-on-year. The company now hosting over 700,000 podcasts.

But does this explosion of podcast listening come at the expense of the existing music market? 

Market analyst Alexandre Jornod, from Futuresource Consulting, suggests that the boom in podcast consumption may actually be incremental to music listening.

Futuresource’s latest ‘Audio Tech Lifestyles’ consumer survey reveals that over 80 per cent of listeners said that they consume the same amount or more music as a direct result of listening to podcasts.

“How musicians directly benefit from spoken word content will depend on how platforms like Spotify provide a seamless flow between recommended podcasts and music playlists utilising their distinct user base of music fans to convert more podcast listeners and vice versa,” he comments. “With a focus towards personalisation, streaming services will need to continue to enhance algorithms that promote artists and podcasters simultaneously.”