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        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        across some of the world’s most developed recorded markets (USA, UK, Canada, Australia) in        2017
  • Paid streaming penetration was       
  •        of the top        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 2017
  •        of Spotify’s most streamed tracks featured more than one artist, with        being from solo acts or groups
  • Pop has the largest share of the most streamed tracks, with        of the total, while dance genres collectively account for       
  • Hip-hop is also well represented, with        of the most streamed, while rock now accounts for just       
  • Streaming skews towards the new as        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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