Music has always been a universal language helping people through the ages to communicate and connect without the need for added conversation or even words. Music can help people unlock their deepest parts, and act as a unifier; bringing people together to share their thoughts, feelings and emotions whether they are suburbs, cities or continents apart.
This has never been truer than in recent times. Removing the opportunity for people to connect in person has amplified the need to create experiences to still engage with those closest to us in ways that are both meaningful, emotive and transcend distance.
Several surveys conducted over the past year have showcased how the Gen Z audience in particular has been craving shared communal experiences. Over the same period Spotify has also noted an increase in content streaming as people seek out ways to stay entertained and informed as well as connected.
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has, as expected, led to a significant increase in e-commerce and other online activities in Nigeria and across the globe. Also, subscription to music streaming apps surged by 44 percent, with usage of Spotify increasing the most by 83 percent.
Spotify has also seen an increase in the number of people using the platform to co-create and share audio content – using their favourite music as a key communication form to create those engaging experiences.
Collaborative playlists are a fun and easy way for users to co-curate playlists with friends, by each adding their favourite tracks. Creating a playlist that has a ‘feel’ of each user gives people the experience of being together. The popularity of collaborative playlists across sub-Saharan Africa was showcased in recent data released by Spotify.
Over the past 90 days, collaborative playlists in Nigeria increased by 35 percent, with “Far Away” by Nigerian Afro-fusion singer Brainboy being the most played in the country. Only South Africa and Kenya received more plays in Africa, with South Africa’s “The Business’’by Tiësto being the most played track in local collaborative playlists in that country, and “Calling My Phone” by 6LACK Lil Jay taking the most plays in Kenya.
Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania also saw an increase in the plays on collaborative playlists over the period.
Another wonderful way to share is through Group Sessions, which allow for the simultaneous listening of songs and podcasts. In the past 90 days, South Africa had the highest group session listening rate across sub-Saharan Africa. The most popular track in group sessions in Nigeria was “Dimension (feat. Skepta & Rema)’’by JAE5. In South Africa, it was “05:12 Space Caress’’ by Danger, while in Kenya, it was “Baby Bumblebee’’ by Julie Gardner.
“Features such as collaborative playlists and group sessions aid music discovery – a key imperative for Spotify. As Spotify’s presence and popularity continues to grow across Africa, we are encouraged that our audiences are continuing to uncover and explore the many features on offer that can only amplify their listening experience”, says Phiona Okumu, head of music, Sub Saharan Africa.
“Spotify is so much more than simply an audio streaming service. Users can ‘’soundtrack their lives’’ from the moment they wake up to when they go to sleep at night, and everything in between and seamlessly share this across other social media apps like Facebook and Instagram. The platform provides an opportunity to connect through a shared love of music, providing comfort to many over the isolation of the past months”.
Spotify is the foremost global music streaming platform with over 356 million monthly active users, over 158 million subscription users, over 70 million songs in the catalogue, over 4 billion playlists available and available across 178 markets including South Africa.