Spotify new music trends

Colourtext crunches the latest Spotify data from RadioMonitor to find the biggest new music launches and most popular song genres

Hot genres and big tunes

Volume of music streaming on Spotify - 2021 vs previous years

Every week Radiomonitor publishes data on the Top 200 songs requested by Spotify listeners in the U.K. It's part of RadioMonitor's fantastic database of airplay and music streaming information that covers radio and music-streaming services in markets right across the world.

This data provides an interesting window into the self-selected music choices of Spotify's mainly 15-34 youth audience in the U.K. The first chart below shows the volume of listening to the 200 most requested songs for the last 3 years (the orange line shows streaming levels for 2021). It's effectively the post-iPod equivalent of the Network Top 40 chart.

The data reveals that streaming levels took a significant dip throughout the lockdown periods of the Covid pandemic. This may seem counter-intuitive given people had more time on their hands but makes sense when we consider the loss of habitual music listening occasions, like commuting, from people's daily lifestyles.

However, from early October 2021 it seems the volume of listening to the Top 200 songs on Spotify recovered to 2019's pre-Covid levels, which must be good news for the industry.

Data source: RadioMonitor / Data analytics: Colourtext

The pink bar chart above ranks the most-streamed artists for 2021. Olivia Rodrigo is the runaway winner, with her first smash hit 'drivers license' being followed up by an even bigger hit, 'good 4 u' (see table to the right). Personally, I get very strong Britney Spears 'Hit me baby one more time' energy when I watch the video for this track!

Try clicking any of the elements in the charts above to drill down further and uncover more insights. For instance, if you click on the lines in the top chart towards the end of the year (weeks 45 onwards) you'll discover that 'Last Christmas' by Wham! was the most popular Christmas song on Spotify this season, followed closely by Maria Carey with 'All I want for Christmas is you'.


Top Artists by Genre

Colourtext has created a database of 12,416 artists and applied music genre tags to 88% (N=10,923) of them. Within this, 96% of artists appearing within the Spotify Top 200 list have been tagged with a unique music genre code, which allows us to analyse music trends with greater precision and texture.

With all 2021 data now in the bag we can see that Pop has enjoyed a resurgence, thanks in no small part to the success of Olivia Rodrigo. In contrast, both Urban and Rap/Hip Hop have seen their popularity fade since 2019.

Also of note is the growth in streaming of Alternative/Indie tracks over 2021 relative to the past two years. This has been driven mainly by increased listening to a wide range of acts, but of particular note are the Artic Monkeys, Glass Animals and The Neighbourhood. 

If you click on the coloured bars in the chart below you can filter the list of artists by music genre.

Data source: RadioMonitor / Data analytics: Colourtext


Top 10 New Music Launches on Spotify (last 6 months)

This chart below shows new U.K. song releases that have achieved the quickest and highest rates of streaming growth on Spotify since their launch over the last 6 months. Songs with the steepest curves have grown their listening the fastest. Songs with the highest curves have achieved the most cumulative plays during the most recent 6 month period since they were released.

The point at which a song's line appears to 'flatline' indicates 'no new data' i.e. it's less than 6 months since the song was released.

Hover your cursor over each song curve for more pop-up information or click on the name of a song/artist to pick out and view its growth line.

Data source: RadioMonitor / Data analytics: Colourtext

If you'd like more information about this analysis you can learn more by getting in touch with us.

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