Local Trends in Global Music Streaming

Abstract

Audio streaming services have made it easier for countries around the world to listen to each other’s music. This expansion in listeners’ access to global content, however, has raised questions about streaming’s impact on the import and export flows of music between countries and their preferences for local or global content. Here, we analyze five and a half years of all streaming data from Spotify, a global music streaming service, and find that preferences for local content have increased from 2014 through 2019, reversing previously noted trends. Perhaps correspondingly, both common official language and geographic proximity between countries increasingly shape listener consumption during this period, particularly for younger audiences. Further, we show that these trends persist across different genres, listener age groups, and early- and late-adopters of streaming, providing new insights into this newest phase in the continued evolution of music and its impact on listeners around the world.

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