How the Coronavirus Lockdown Has Changed Our Music Streaming Habits


In September 1980, the English new wave rock band The Police — led by their frontman, Sting — launched a brand new single, a couple of schoolgirl’s crush on her much-older trainer. Four a long time later, streams of the track on Spotify out of the blue shot up by over 135 p.c. But why? That’s as a result of it is known as “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”, which naturally takes on a really totally different that means in these instances of social distancing and self-isolation.

The Police’s 1980 hit is not the solely track that is seen a lift throughout the ongoing pandemic. With Italy and Spain beneath lockdown, these caught at residence took to their balconies to sing praises of the ones combating COVID-19 on the frontline. As a outcome, Andrea Sannino’s 2015 love ballad “Abbracciame”, Adriano Celentano’s 1968 ode to summer season “Azzurro”, and Dúo Dinámico’s 1988 motivational observe “Resistiré” all noticed a terrific enhance — with streams up by greater than eight, seven, and 4 instances, respectively.

A renewed curiosity in “Resistiré” even led to “Resistiré 2020”, with over 30 Spanish artists contributing to the new cowl and a music video, from their respective properties. Since its launch at the begin of April, it has amassed over 17 million views on YouTube alone. All funds raised will go to the Catholic aid physique, Cáritas. And one thing related occurred final week with “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”, as late-night host Jimmy Fallon roped in Sting for a home-instrument remix. Fallon’s video ends by name-checking Frontline Foods, which will get meals to frontline staff.

Spotify mentioned it has additionally seen a spike in listeners after the likes of folks pop singer-songwriter Jewel, digital multi-instrumentalist James Blake, hardcore punk band Code Orange, and folk-rock duo Indigo Girls hosted digital reside live shows. Closer to residence, JioSaavn has performed the similar on its Facebook web page, internet hosting unbiased artists in playback singer Nikhita Gandhi, Euphoria frontman Palash Sen, guitarist Taba Chake, and Gully Boy music supervisor Ankur Tewari.

While most have misplaced out on the income from profitable real-life live shows, some have benefited from the elevated free time most individuals have on their fingers throughout the nationwide lockdown in India — which started on March 25 and was prolonged to May three this week.

Gaana, the self-proclaimed chief in the music streaming house in India, advised Gadgets 360 that it has witnessed a double-digit progress in visitors over a three-week interval beginning mid-March. On the different hand, JioSaavn mentioned it noticed an total decline in early information, extra so throughout peak commute and work hours. “The decline has gradually settled and, in some cases, even reversed,” a JioSaavn spokesperson added. The Reliance Industries-owned service believes the pattern was almost definitely triggered by a shift in the direction of greater information consumption.

JioSaavn cited information podcasts registering a “significant growth” over the first two weeks of India’s nationwide lockdown as proof. “Corona” and “lockdown” are being extremely searched on Gaana. This can also be true for the world’s greatest music streaming service, Spotify, which has put collectively a COVID-19 hub to assist listeners discover all the pieces in a single place. Podcasts reminiscent of CNN’s Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction, BBC’s Coronavirus Global Update, and Foreign Policy’s Don’t Touch Your Face are main the means.

But audio information creators aren’t the solely ones benefiting from individuals spending extra time at residence. Both JioSaavn and Spotify have seen elevated curiosity in well being and health, self-improvement (wellness, meditation, spirituality), and cooking podcasts. If you have the obtained phrase “recipe” in your podcast title or description, you could be in luck, in keeping with Spotify. Gaana reported “significant traction” for something that “can comfortably play in the background”, reminiscent of comedy, self-help, and devotion podcasts and exhibits.

This does not imply that persons are listening to much less music — although listeners’ tastes and preferences are seeing a shift as a result of the lockdown. Spotify listeners are choosing extra “chill”. That means songs which can be instrumental, extra acoustic, much less danceable, and/or have decrease power. This applies to Gaana as nicely, with a few of the hottest playlists being Instrumental Flute, Divine Instrumental, Soulful Acoustics, Awesome Acoustics, and Chill Out. A Gaana spokesperson mentioned it is seen “a double-digit surge in demand for pre-curated playlists that users can play in the background.”

Speaking of playlists, Spotify mentioned its customers are creating and following extra exercise playlists than they had been a month in the past. Both Gaana and Spotify reported an uptick in listening hours for yoga playlists, which expanded to cooking-, housework-, running-, nature sounds-, and meditation-themed playlists for the latter. Spotify has additionally witnessed a rise in collaborative playlists and customers sharing extra on social media, what with lots of people unable to see their family members throughout the pandemic.

And with children at residence for good, Spotify has additionally seen a lift in children and household content material, particularly any music that helps children sleep. Disney Favourites is a best choice. Meanwhile, JioSaavn customers have gotten extra nostalgic in the pandemic, taking part in classics and songs from their childhood.

It’s not simply “what” persons are listening that has shifted throughout the lockdown, it is also the “how”. Both JioSaavn and Spotify mentioned that extra customers are streaming from computer systems, TVs (together with the JioFiber Set-Top Box), gaming consoles, and good audio system reminiscent of Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Sonos. For JioSaavn, the progress in streams by way of home-bound platforms is at “an all-time high”. Streams on cellular units proceed to extend, for that is the main gadget for a lot of in India, and Gaana famous that registrations have shot up “significantly” on Android, iOS, and in the browser.


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