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How fans engage with the world’s biggest festivals on Spotify

Ticket holder or not, when there’s a star-studded music festival on the horizon it’s hard not to get just a little bit excited. And there’s no better way to channel that excitement than by tuning into the event’s top-billed acts on Spotify—a trend we see through fan engagement not only before, but also during, and even after the show.

Coachella, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Tomorrowland… the world’s biggest music festivals have become the center stage for iconic pop culture moments—and the ultimate bridge for fans to connect with the artists they love.

In fact, festival lovers literally can’t wait to embrace that festival feeling, turning to Spotify for playlist inspiration during the build-up and (if watching at home) during the event—and even afterwards to debrief via podcasts or relive those epic moments.

Here’s what advertisers need to know about how festival fans are streaming on Spotify.

Who’s searching for music festivals on Spotify?

In the US, the majority (61%) of Spotify searches for “Coachella” and “Lollapalooza” are from females.1 But the opposite is true of three other world-renowned music festivals, outside of the US—Glastonbury (UK), Tomorrowland (Belgium), and Rock in Rio (Brazil)—for which the majority (69%) of searches are from males.2

When we analyze all five festivals together, most searches are from adults A25-34 (39%), compared to other age groups.3

When are they listening?

Mic drop: music festival enthusiasts on Spotify are listening all year round, especially during summer. But streams and searches related to specific festivals peak when the lineup is announced, and then again during the festival—suggesting fans streaming at home are just as engaged as those who were lucky enough to grab a ticket and see their favorite artists IRL…

Coachella, USA

Compared to the weekly average, streams tied to the Coachella moment increased by 52%5 when the lineup was announced, and then by 489% during the festival.6

In the two weeks leading up to the festival, searches for “coachella” increased on average by 15% daily7, and by 282% during the festival vs the previous week.8

Lollapalooza, USA

Compared to the weekly average, streams tied to the Lollapalooza moment increased by 374%9 when the lineup was announced, and then by 180% during the week of the festival.10

In the two weeks leading up to the festival, searches for “lollapalooza” increased on average by 7% daily11, and by 194% during the festival vs the previous week.12

Glastonbury Festival, UK

Glastonbury Festival 2023 Playlist Streams increased by 323% following the full lineup announcement, and 393% the weeks of and after the festival.13

In the two weeks leading up to the festival, searches for “glastonbury” increased on average by 12% daily14, and by 270% during the festival vs the previous week.15

Tomorrowland, Belgium

Compared to the weekly average, streams tied to the Tomorrowland moment increased by 41% during the week of the festival, and were sustained for a few months after.16

In the two weeks leading up to the festival, searches for “tomorrowland” increased on average by 4% daily17, and by 203% during the festival vs the previous week.18

Rock in Rio, Brazil

Compared to the weekly average, streams tied to the Rock in Rio playlist increased by 49% during the week of the festival.19

The debrief

Emotions run high at music festivals. Whether it’s the moment a global superstar takes to the main stage after weeks of anticipation, or knowing you’ve just witnessed something special when a blossoming talent pulls one of the biggest crowds of the weekend.

And even after that final encore, some fans just aren’t ready to let go—and it shows on Spotify.

Podcasts recapping the stories of the weekend see huge engagement uplifts, extending the cultural conversation and doubtless helping deflated attendees recover from those post-festival blues.

  • 1179%

    Coachella-related podcast streams increased 1179% the week of Coachella through the following week²⁰

  • 7074%

    Glastonbury-related podcast streams increased 7074% the week of the festival through the following two weeks²¹

  • 23k%

    Tomorrowland-related podcast streams increased by 23k% the week of the festival through the following week²²

  • 51%

    Lollapalooza Festival-related podcast streams spiked by 51% the week of the festival through the following week²³

How brands can get their moment on the mic

So, now you know festival lovers tune into Spotify before, during, and after the event they’re hyped about. But how can you reach them at the right moment, with a message that steals the show?

Spotify’s ads manager brings a range of creative tools and targeting options to advertisers that can help make their voices heard—and remembered.

Embrace that festival feeling

Whether you opt for audio, video, or a combination of both formats, immersing your audience in the festival environment through your ad’s creative is a great way to grab their attention. For audio, think house beats, electric guitars, and roaring crowds. For video, add familiar imagery like marquee tents, live stages, summer fashion, and camping customs—you get the picture.

With Spotify’s ads manager, you can upload existing creative to your campaign, or create an audio ad from scratch, using our free creative service. Just give us a script, choose a voice over and some free background music, and we’ll do the rest.

Target likely festival lovers by interest, and more

Over 600M users tune into Spotify every month.24 And while that’s a great place to start, you’re going to want to reach the people who matter most.

Spotify’s ads manager gives you a choice: Target broadly and let our algorithms do the work for efficient results, or narrow down your audience profile with a range of targeting criteria. This includes basic demographics like age, gender, and location, as well as interest- and behavior-based attributes such as preferred music genres and contextual playlists.

So, if your goal is to reach likely festival goers, you might want to target interests like Health & Lifestyle, and Partying. Or be heard in specific music genres relevant to your audience or message, from Pop, Rock and Country, to EDM, and many more. You can even reach fans of a particular artist with Fan Base targeting—a smart way to tap into the hype around a festival headliner.

Combine audio and video formats

To give yourself a higher chance of landing a message that sticks, we recommend taking a sight-meets-sound approach to your advertising strategy. Audio ads are heard during screenless moments—when listeners are fully engaged on what they’re hearing—while video ads are only ever served to Spotify users when the app is in view, meaning your ads are both seen and heard.

Research shows that audio + video campaigns result in higher performance across brand awareness (+7%), message association (+7%) and purchase intent (+27%), compared with audio-only campaigns.25

Get started today.

Brands and agencies across all industries have a real opportunity to own the festival moment on Spotify, particularly those in the retail and entertainment spaces with products and events that are likely to appeal to festival fans.

Sign into Spotify’s ads manager to kick off a festival-themed campaign.

Sources:

  1. Spotify First Party Data, Searches for “Coachella” and “Lollapalooza”, One month before through one month after each festival, Global
  2. Spotify First Party Data, Searches for “Glastonbury”, “Tomorrowland”, and “Rock in Rio”, One month before through one month after each festival, Global
  3. Spotify First Party Data, Streams for “music festival” moment, FY 2023, Global
  4. Spotify First Party Data, Streams for “music festival” moment, FY 2023, Global
  5. Spotify First Party Data, Streams for “Coachella” moment, January 16 - January 20, 2023 vs weekly 2023 average, Global
  6. Spotify First Party Data, Streams for “Coachella” moment, April 10 - April 23, 20023 vs weekly 2023 average, Global
  7. Spotify First Party Data, Average Daily Searches for “Coachella”, March 31, 2023 – April 13, 2023, Global
  8. Spotify First Party Data, Average Daily Searches for “Coachella”, April 7 - April 13, 2023 vs April 14 – April 23, 2023 Global
  9. Spotify First Party Data, Streams for “Lollapalooza” moment, March 13 - March 26, 2023 vs weekly 2023 average, Global
  10. Spotify First Party Data, Streams for “Lollapalooza” moment, July 31 - August 6, 2023 vs weekly 2023 average, Global
  11. Spotify First Party Data, Average Daily Searches for “Lollapalooza”, July 21 – August 2, 2023, Global
  12. Spotify First Party Data, Average Daily Searches for “Lollapalooza”, July 26 - August 2, 2023 vs August 3 - August 6, 2023, Global
  13. Spotify First Party Data, Streams for “Glastonbury 2023” Spotify Created playlist, May 28 - July 1,2023, Global
  14. Spotify First Party Data, Average Daily Searches for “Coachella”, March 31, 2023 – April 13, 2023, Global
  15. Spotify First Party Data, Average Daily Searches for “Coachella”, April 7 - April 13, 2023 vs April 14 – April 23, 2023 Global
  16. Spotify First Party Data, Streams for “Tomorrowland” moment, July 24 - August 6, 2023 vs weekly 2023 average, Global
  17. Spotify First Party Data, Average Daily Searches for “Coachella”, March 31, 2023 – April 13, 2023, Global
  18. Spotify First Party Data, Average Daily Searches for “Coachella”, April 7 - April 13, 2023 vs April 14 – April 23, 2023 Global
  19. Spotify First Party Data, Streams for “Rock in Rio” playlist, August 28 - September 10, 2023 vs weekly 2023 average, Global
  20. Spotify First Party Data, Streams of “Coachella (Festival)” podcast topic, 4/2/23-4/29/23, Global
  21. Spotify First Party Data, Streams of “Glastonbury Festival” podcast topic, 5/28/23-7/8/23, Global
  22. Spotify First Party Data, Streams of “Tomorrowland (Festival)” podcast topic, 7/9/23-8/5/23, Global
  23. Spotify First Party Data, Streams of “Lollapalooza (Festival)” podcast topic, 7/30/23-8/26/23, Global
  24. Highlights from Spotify’s Q4 2023 earnings, Ads.spotify, February 2024
  25. US Nielsen Brand Effect & Kantar Brand Lift Insights, Data through 2023

More insights:

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