Spike in 'chill' music, news podcasts and playlist sharing: Our new Spotify habits

The audio-streaming platform revealed how people are using it differently after weeks in isolation.

Our Spotify habits are rapidly changing amid global isolation, the platform has found. 

An increase in streams of "chill" music, a spike in news podcast listeners and a jump in playlist sharing are just three new habits the audio brand has noted since many around the world locked themselves away to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

A spokesperson for Spotify said: "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."

The below are findings from Spotify about our new listening habits.

COVID-19 news podcasts soar 

The brand said 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.

Parents are playing music and podcasts for their children

Right now, parents are facing a new challenge: keeping their kids safe and entertained -- and maybe even helping them learn something -- while they try and get their own work done. Due to this, Spotify’s seen an increase in the streaming of kids and family content, particularly music to help kids sleep. In fact, both children’s music and classical have seen boosts over the past week.

Check out some of the top playlists and podcasts parents are streaming for kids. 

Listeners are in a more "chill" music mood

During this time the brand’s also 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. Looking for your own calm inspiration? Check out the many playlists on our Chill shelf.

Playlist collaboration and social sharing is bringing people together

The platform’s seen an increase in collaborative playlists during this time frame, allowing people to connect over shared music and have virtual jam sessions together. (If you didn’t know, here’s a video tutorial for creating collaborative playlists of your own so you can get started). Plus, Spotify users are sharing more content on their social networks than usual, so they can let their friends and followers know what they’re up to from afar. Learn how to share your song of the moment to Snapchat or Instagram.

Artists who livestream concerts are seeing a spike in listening

Now that live tours are postponed, many artists are staging virtual concerts online. 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.

Podcasts and playlists are helping people keep fit and healthy

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 and fitness and lifestyle an 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.

The songs people sing on balconies inspire streaming

In Italy and Spain, residents 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 percent on March 13, and streams of "Azzurro" soared more than 715 percent on March 14. In Spain, streams of the ’80s track "Resistiré" (I Will Resist) by Duo Dinamico leapt by more than 435 percent starting March 15, after videos of the event started circulating on social media.

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