Spotify Reveals How Listening Habits Change with the Seasons

Today is the first day of fall, when we might notice the slightest chill to the air, leading eventually perhaps to autumn foliage, cozy clothes, and spiced everything. It also marks the changing musical tastes of Spotify listeners.

To find out how music listening changes by season, Spotify analyzed the stream counts and genres of the 100,000 most popular artists over a two year period, using global, anonymous, aggregated listening data.

You can check out the artists most associated with each season, based on their share of listening in that season vs. their share of listening over the course of the year, below. See how Michael Bublé and Bing Crosby show up for fall and winter? They’re both popular around Christmas (and fall ends on December 21). That’s how we know our math is working here; the other, less expected artists are perhaps more interesting.

To see how genres ebb and flow with the seasons, we looked at far more artists than the ten included in the lists below, and summed their plays to get each genre’s seasonal share vs. its share of the year. Key genre findings:

  • In the fall, people really like traditional, orchestral, acoustic music.
  • The winter brings spoken word recordings, mellower subgenres, and lots of listening, for whatever reason, to music associated with countries, perhaps as people return to their roots for the holidays.
  • Spring sees the arrival of sunny, upbeat genres like Melbourne bounce, happy hardcore, and Eurovision (the last associated with the music contest held each spring).
  • The music most associated with the summer months are audiobooks (summer reading, anyone?), and beach-oriented genres like deep tropical house and ragga jungle.

And now on to some possibly more recognizable fare: the artists most associated with each season:

Fall

  1. R. City
  2. Pentatonix
  3. Nico & Vinz
  4. Michael Bublé
  5. One Direction
  6. Justin Bieber
  7. Ella Henderson
  8. Becky G
  9. Ryan Adams
  10. Iggy Azalea

Winter

  1. The Beatles*
  2. David Bowie
  3. Bing Crosby
  4. Yellow Claw
  5. Nat King Cole
  6. Mark Ronson
  7. Bushido
  8. Michael Bublé
  9. James Newton Howard
  10. ZAYN

*The Beatles released their music on Christmas Eve 2015, which likely explains their appearance at the top of this winter chart.

Spring

  1. T-Wayne
  2. Natalie La Rose
  3. Madeon
  4. Wiz Khalifa
  5. Mumford & Sons
  6. Carly Rae Jepsen
  7. Zedd
  8. Deorro
  9. Lunchmoney Lewis
  10. Yelawolf

Summer

  1. Mike Perry
  2. FRENSHIP
  3. Joel Adams
  4. Kungs
  5. Kent Jones
  6. D.R.A.M.
  7. Lil Uzi Vert
  8. Chance The Rapper
  9. Die drei ???

2 thoughts on “Spotify Reveals How Listening Habits Change with the Seasons

  1. found this quite interesting. the stats may be skewed by release dates, though, correct? R.City or Justin Bieber releasing material in a certain quarter but then staying quiet for the rest of the year would drastically intensify listening during those specific release season(s). which has less to do with “feel”, genre or sonics than when their teams chose to release that music. the same concept would apply to nearly all current artists listed above. so perhaps excluding new releases of the past 2 years from the data set would have turned results more closely associated with genre and that relatively intangible “feel”.

    thoughts on that?

    Like

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