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Spotify highlights the changes in music streaming patterns while WFH

A blog post on the company's site highlights how music streaming and listening patterns have changed, now that more people are working from home.

As more and more people are working from home, Spotify notes a variety of changes in how stream and listen to music and podcasts. The audio streaming service adds that with fewer people streaming from their cars during their daily commutes and an increase in working from home, more people are streaming across devices like computer desktops, TVs, smart speakers, and gaming consoles. “There’s also been an increase in cooking- and housework-themed playlists, showing that people are primarily focusing on family and domestic tasks instead of music intended for get-togethers. Self-improvement podcasts (think wellness, meditation) are seeing an uptick as well,” writes the blog post.

The listening trends were recorded from March 19-25, a time when 'the world had committed to working from home.' Interestingly, in light of instructions to social distance (even within households, among family members) streaming of The Police’sDon’t Stand So Close to Me” saw more than a 135 per cent. spike in streams in recent weeks. Here is a list of trends that the streaming service observed in this duration.

1. Increased interest in news podcasts

Another major trend was that there was an increased interest in listening to news podcasts. "We’ve seen increased interest in news podcasts, so we’ve put together a COVID-19 hub to help our users find everything in one place. Listeners have been checking out podcasts like Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction (CNN), Coronavirus Global Update (BBC), and Don’t Touch Your Face (Foreign Policy). Gimlet’s show Science Vs also has a few recent episodes on the COVID-19 outbreak," writes the company.

2. Parents are playing music and podcasts for their children.

The biggest challenge that parents face while being quarantined with their kids is keeping them entertained — and maybe even helping them learn something—while they try and get their own work done. Spotify records an increase in streaming of 'Kids & Family' related content, especially music designed to help kids sleep. In fact, both children's music and classical music have seen boosts in listening over the past week.

3. Listeners are in a more “chill” music mood.

Working from home means that listeners are now inclined towards songs that are more mellow and have less energy levels. "During this time we’ve noticed that the songs Spotify listeners are adding to their playlists are more “chill”—meaning they’re more acoustic, less danceable, and have lower energy than songs previously added. Plus, the music tends to be more instrumental, featuring instruments rather than vocals," mentions Spotify.

4. More people are using playlist collaboration and social sharing

Spotify has a feature that allows users to create collaborative playlists and it's seeing an increase in interest in this feature, over the past week or so. The playlists allow users to share music and have 'virtual jam sessions.'

Spotify also mentioned that now, users are increasingly sharing content to social media sites such as Instagram and Snapchat.

5. Artists who livestream concerts are seeing a spike in listening.

An immediate effect of the Coronavirus spreading rapidly is that many concerts have been postponed, in some cases, indefinitely. To cope, many artists are hosting virtual concerts on social mediums such as Instagram and Facebook live. The interesting part is that Spotify recorded an increased interest in the artists who performed these concerts. "Afterward, listeners are heading to Spotify to stream the artists—giving them a similar bump to the one artists typically see after live concerts. James Blake, Indigo Girls, Ben Gibbard, Chloe x Halle, Code Orange, and Jewel are just a few of the many artists to see spikes in streaming so far," mentions the blog post.

6. Listeners are expressing increased interest in health-related podcasts and playlists

The Spotify blog post mentions that listeners have been taking time for themselves and making their health and wellness a top priority. More people have been listening to podcasts in the Health & Fitness and Lifestyle & Health categories in the past week, with users also streaming more podcasts with the words “cooking” or “recipes” in the title or description. When it comes to playlists, users are creating and following more workout playlists than they were a month ago, and streams of running, yoga, nature sounds, and meditation playlists are up.

7. The songs people sing on balconies inspire streaming.

In honour of healthcare providers and first responders, Italy and Spain and residents of other countries have taken to singing songs together from apartment balconies and windows, especially in honor of health care providers and first responders. Two of the songs sung in Italy have soared: streams of “Abbracciame” increased by 820 per cent on March 13, and streams of “Azzurro” soared more than 715 per cent on March 14. In Spain, streams of the ’80s track “Resistiré“ (I Will Resist) by Duo Dinamico leapt by more than 435% starting March 15, after videos of the event started circulating on social media.