How The World Listens to Christmas Music

Spotify has classified over 1.3 million tracks as Christmas music, and our users have created nearly 16 million Christmas-themed playlists.

So, we know people have plenty of options when it comes to choosing what Christmas music to listen to. People all over the world listen to plenty of the same Christmas music; you can hear the Christmas tracks we have in common this seasonin this playlist of the most popular Christmas music on Spotify, globally.

But we also listen differently, based on where we live, due to our global village’s linguistic and cultural variation. To explore how people in countries with Spotify listen to music, click on any Spotify-enabled country on the map for the most popular and most trending Christmas music in that country (you can zoom in, scroll around, and click on the countries — or use the big version here):

But when did these countries start listening to this music? Spotify data alchemist Glenn McDonald, who also made the trending playlists in the above map, charted the ratio of Christmas music that people in these countries listened to over time (late August 2015 to present). From that:

The following countries first broke the threshold of listening to 0.05% Christmas music — meaning here that that’s when they really got into the Christmas spirit — on the following dates:

  1. Denmark: 11/23/15
  2. Norway: 11/25/15
  3. Sweden: 11/26/15
  4. United States: 11/29/15
  5. Canada: 11/30/15
  6. Turkey: 11/30/15
  7. Finland: 11/30/15
  8. Belgium: 12/6/15
  9. Netherlands: 12/7/15
  10. Poland: 12/7/15
  11. Italy: 12/9/15
  12. Philippines: 12/11/15
  13. New Zealand: 12/12/15
  14. Germany: 12/14/15
  15. Australia: 12/16/15
  16. United Kingdom: 12/16/15
  • The Philippines starts celebrating Christmas really early. Christmas music first spiked there on September 1.
  • Christmas listening generally spikes on Sundays.
  • As the holiday draws nearer, the nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark are listening to the highest percentage of Christmas music.

Happy holidays, merry Christmas, and a happy new year.

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