Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Especially Missy Elliott Win Super Bowl Boosts on Spotify

Super Bowl XLIX was a nail-biter for the ages that came down to one spectacularly dramatic play that had fans of each team jumping for joy or staring in disbelief, depending on which team they support.

The football wasn’t the only thing that needed to get run yesterday. After 111.5 million people tuned in to watch the highest-rated Super Bowl ever, including halftime performers Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, and (surprise!) Missy Elliott, Spotify data analyst Samantha Mandel-Dallal ran some data to see what kind of effect these artists’ performances had on Spotify listening before, during, and after the game.

She found that performing at the Super Bowl is in fact a really good idea if you’re an artist who wants more people to listen to their music. All three artists saw big listening increases in the US — Missy Elliott most of all.


Katy Perry streaming increased 85 percent from one hour before the game to its peak, about an hour after the game ended. Out of all her songs, “Teenage Dream” (the one with the dancing sharks on stage) saw the biggest increase, of 139 percent, followed by “Firework” (107 percent) and “California Gurls” (98 percent). That’s a big boost for already-quite-strong Katy Perry listening on Spotify.

The other two halftime performers saw even bigger percentage boosts in listening — possibly because everybody had been thinking about Katy Perry already as the Super Bowl approached, whereas Lenny Kravitz — and especially the unannounced Missy Elliott — took people more by surprise, causing them to dive into their catalogs with renewed enthusiasm:


Lenny Kravitz listening rose 103 percent

But Missy Elliott — whose surprise appearance The Boston Globe called “the most thrilling part of the high-octane set” — clearly stole the show in terms of percentage listening increase on Spotify.

Missy Elliot streaming increased by a staggering 676 percent over the same time period, with “Lose Control” listening up 1396 percent, “Get ur Freak On” up 922 percent, and “Work It” up 896 percent. The element of surprise might have had something to do with it. Another strong possibility is that her performance really was that embraced.


This isn’t the first time we’ve noticed the dramatic impact the Super Bowl can have on the artists who perform at the halftime show. When we built a Music Doppler that charts each state’s most popular song over time like an animated weather map, last year’s Super Bowl performer Bruno Mars completely took over the entire United States as if he were a massive musical storm system (with streams increasing an even 100 percent). That map used daily data; this year, we went even further down the rabbit hole, by looking at listening to these artists in as close to real time as possible.