Decorations, food, candles, family, and of course — music: it’s all part of the holiday experience. Our streaming intelligence tells the story of how music streaming has become an integral part of celebrating the holiday season all around the world thanks to the many connected devices throughout our lives.
There’s no time like the present to get into holiday music with the Christmas Party playlist, one of the top holiday playlists in Australia.
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Streaming behaviour changes during the season. For tech brands, these insights can inform holiday campaign strategies at a time of year when tech purchases are high. Reach an engaged audience in the holiday spirit by understanding how, when, and where people listen.
Around the world, November marks the start of holiday listening. Last year, Spotify users in Australia started streaming more holiday music on November 24, almost exactly one month before Christmas. And for the most part, the rest of the world followed suit — aside from a few early starters, most countries increased their holiday music in late November.1
Although holiday music is streamed regularly all over Australia, Perth leads the way on percentage of holiday streams compared to regular listening. Meanwhile, Melbourne is all the way at the bottom, with the least holiday listening in the country.2 Perhaps they’re still recovering from Melbourne Cup Carnival...who knows.
Rockin’ around the Christmas TV
For most of the year, people use Spotify while they’re commuting, while they’re working out, or while they’re sitting at their computers. Once family comes to town for the holidays, everyone takes off their headphones and gathers together for communal listening. Listening through connected TVs, smart speakers, and gaming consoles sees peak usage during the holiday season as families take to streaming all their favourite classics.3
In fact, globally, listening session lengths increase by 10% from October through January, as people gather together to listen around their connected devices.4
Women take the lead on jingling all the way
Women tend to go all-out on Christmas jams — they’re 2X more likely to stream holiday music as men.5
Wishing for snow
Nostalgia is a huge part of the season, and classics continue to have an extended shelf life — all hail Mariah Carey. But with a couple exceptions, Aussies tend to go further back than the Christmas Queen, enjoying all-time greats like Wham!’s “Last Christmas,” and The Ronettes’ “Sleigh Ride,” plus Sinatra’s “Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”6 Perhaps the long hot holiday temperatures have Aussies craving some cool relief — even if it's a hemisphere away.
Get in the spirit, or not
Turns out, plenty of people are avoiding traditional holiday tunes and instead opting to soundtrack their season with other mood- appropriate music. Noise-cancelling headphones anyone?
Along with Christmas carols, romantic streams were also on the rise during the holidays — the “romantic” mood saw a 71% increase from October to December 2018. It’s the mood with the highest growth in streams during the holiday period, followed by “empowering” and “lively.”7 For marketers, it makes sense to consider targeting not only Christmas playlists, but also these moments.
Reset and recharge
When Christmas is over, it’s time to take a collective deep breath. Around the world, in January of 2019 listening to “calming” music increased in a major way. Help people stay focused and start the year off on the right foot by sponsoring relaxation-focused playlists during the first few weeks of January.