Reports Music

Most Streamed Versus All Time Sellers The Internationalisation Myth

Report by Zach Fuller
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The 20,000 Foot View: As the music industry becomes a streaming industry in all but name, Spotify’s XXX most streamed tracks provide a window into how the overall industry has changed since the advent of access over ownership. Although arguably just a snapshot of an era, a comparison between the two reveals recent trends within music pertaining to genre popularity and collaborative efforts versus solo releases. It also serves as a reflection of how far the internationalisation effect of streaming is influencing the superstar effect — those outlier songs that take over the entire platform.

Key Findings

  • There is negligible difference between the pre-streaming and streaming era distribution of the best performing tracks by artist nationality 
  • Playlist growth and consumption means new releases are particularly emphasised on Spotify’s platform
  • Free streaming user penetration averaged XXX across some of the world’s most developed recorded markets (USA, UK, Canada, Australia) in XXX 2017
  • Paid streaming penetration was XXX of the top XXX most streamed Spotify tracks were by, or featured, an artist from the US, Canada or the UK
  • Playlist growth flatlined in major music markets in XXX of Spotify’s most streamed tracks featured more than one artist, with XXX being from solo acts or groups
  • Pop has the largest share of the most streamed tracks, with XXX of the total, while dance genres collectively account for XXX is also well represented, with XXX of the most streamed, while rock now accounts for just XXX skews towards the new as XXX of the top streamed tracks were released in the prior three years
  • Streaming has shifted the music business model from one of reach to engagement
  • Playlists are creating a hits dichotomy: superstar hits are bigger than ever and other hits are over-boosted in the short term before quickly disappearing

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Ableton Live, Apple, Apple Music, DatPiff, Deezer, Logic Studio, Soundcloud, Spotify, Universal Music

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