With more people working from home and practising self-quarantine, it is safe to say that they have taken to digital entertainment to stay sane. Spotify, for example, has witnessed a change in streaming behaviour as a result of social distancing, with the number of cooking and housework-themed playlists growing. Self-improvement podcasts such as wellness and meditation are also on the rise.
Interestingly, the song "Don't Stand So Close To Me" by The Police saw a 135% spike in streams in the recent weeks, as citizens are reminded to stay one metre apart from one another. For brands that are looking to target Spotify users, here are seven trends to take note of:
1. Increased interest in news podcasts
Spotify users are keeping abreast of current affairs by tuning in to news podcasts available on its platform. These include CNN's Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction, BBC's Coronavirus Global Update, and Foreign Policy's Don't Touch Your Face. To cater to consumers' needs, Spotify created a COVID-19 hub to help users find everything in one place.
2. Streaming of kids and family content
There has been an increase in the streaming of kids and family content as parents seek ways to keep their kids safe and entertained while they work from home. According to Spotify, this also helps their kids sleep. Some of the top playlists and podcasts in this category include Baby Sleep, Disney Favourites, Disney Sing-Alongs, Story Pirates, Chompers and Every Little Thing.
3. Spike in listening after live streams
With events getting cancelled and tours being postponed due to COVID-19, several artists are staging virtual concerts. According to Spotify, listeners head to Spotify to stream the after the virtual concerts, similar to the trend artists usually see after live concerts. James Blake, Indigo Girls, Ben Gibbard, Chloe x Halle, Code Orange, and Jewel are some of the artists who have witnessed spikes in streaming so far.
4. Podcasts to help stay in shape
Health and wellness podcasts are also trending, as listeners make fitness one of their priorities when they work from home or self-quarantine. According to Spotify, more users have been listening to podcasts in the health and fitness and lifestyle and health categories in the past week. They are also streaming more podcasts with the words "cooking" or recipes" in the title or description. Meanwhile, users are creating and following more workout playlists than they were a month ago, and streams of running, yoga, nature sounds, and meditation playlists are also trending.
5. Playlist collaboration and social sharing
In addition to the spike in listening after live streams of virtual concerts, Spotify also noted that there is an increase in collaborative playlists during this period. Such playlists allows consumers to connect over shared music and have virtual jam sessions together. Users are also sharing more content on their social networks than usual, to keep their friends updated on what they have been up to so far.
6. Chill music mood
Listeners are adding more "chill" songs to their playlists which are more acoustic, less danceable, and have lower energy than songs previously added. Also, the music tends to be more instrumental, featuring instruments rather than vocals.
7. Inspiration for streaming
Residents in Italy and Spain have been singing songs together from apartment balconies and windows, especially in honour of healthcare providers and first responders. According to Spotify, two of the songs sung in Italy have soared. Streams of Abbracciame increased by 820% on 13 March while streams of Azzurro jumped more than 715% on 14 March. In Spain, streams of the Resistire leapt more than 435% beginning 15 March after videos of the event began circulating on social media.
Are any of the trends applicable to you? Well, I've certainly ramped up my consumption of news podcasts!
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