Quantcast
STREAMING SERVICES LEAN INTO HOME LIFE

The DSPs are leaning into the new reality of the quarantine era, with a greater emphasis on workout and task-oriented playlists, kids’ music and enhanced offerings for stress reduction and positivity amid the crisis. With everyone at home and stressed, the on-the-go energy of playlisting culture is giving way to music designed to boost comfort, familiarity and health.

In other words, the streameries are not positioned as passive jukeboxes in this crisis—they’re concierge services catering to the varying needs of a confined audience. Less algorithm, you might say, and more life rhythm.

As we previously reported, streaming has actually been up in April over the same period in 2019, so that’s a lot of activity for a huge range of music. Podcasting, too, is getting a major boost—with content that addresses the present circumstances front and center.

Meanwhile, although the songs that have the most active users leaning on the button haven’t changed much—with hip-hop and pop leading the charge, and upper-demo users still turning to classic pop, rock, R&B and country—this music too is now being repackaged to fit into the new normal.

“Listening habits and interests have naturally evolved as people adapt to changing routines and an increased amount of time at home,” says Spotify co-head of Music Jeremy Erlich. “To respond to the current situation, Spotify created a new At Home hub, where we hope our users can easily find and access Spotify-curated playlists and podcasts recommended for home-based activities like cooking, workout, meditation and more. Our mission to curate the best experience for our listeners remains, even in these difficult times.”

The Spot’s Work From Home, Podcast Essentials, Have a Great Day, Mind Massage and other playlists are the marquee offerings of the At Home hub. And then there’s Cleaning Kit, tunes to help you overcome the grime buildup that home confinement won’t let you ignore. And after an hour of jams ranging from The Beatles to Kendrick Lamar, our toilet is sparkling like a goddamn diamond.

Below these top playlists are subsections with multiple playlists for multiple activities: Work From Home, Cooking & Dining, Workout, Meditation, Kids & Family and more.

At Amazon Music—just a click away from your home-delivery cart—you’ve got playlists like Staying In, Virtual Hug, Home Gym, Solo Dance Party, Table for One, Maintain Your Mojo (a tasty blend of blues, rock and soul), Classic Songs for Sad Times… you get the idea.

“When this first began to impact our customers, we wanted to address the changes in peoples’ lives by creating bespoke programming that would help them throughout the day,” says Amazon Music Head of Programming Mike Tierney. “Playlists like ‘Home Gym Workout,’ ‘Staying In’ and ‘Work From Home’ saw spikes in listening.”

“By last week,” however, Tierney continues, “customers started to revert back to what they were listening to before, including our biggest playlists like ‘All Hits,’ ‘Rap Rotation,’ and ‘Country Heat.’ Listeners are also leaning into music that makes them feel good: the playlist ‘Maintain your Mojo’ connects better than ‘Dystopian Vibes.’ Our ‘Feel Good’ and ‘Mellow Gold’ series of playlists are doing even better than usual. We’re seeing a general trend, that listeners want ‘Chill’ playlists and mood playlists to make themselves feel better. It makes sense that the ‘Feeling Happy’ playlist is 20x higher in streams than ‘Feeling Blue.’”


Now check out Apple Music’s home page, where “At Home With Apple Music” content frames the offerings. In addition to playlists foregrounding Andrea Bocelli, you’ve got “Pop Stars’ Stay-at-Home Soundtracks” and “Home School-Strumentals” (chill beats for study time). Apple’s Home Office DJ playlist, meanwhile, splits the difference, packaging current hits for the WFH crowd. There’s also ancillary video content showing artists and Apple curators at home.

“Everything we’re doing across Apple Music worldwide is meant to create a deeper feeling of community and connection for people during this time of distancing,” says Rachel Newman, Apple Music’s Global Head of Editorial, who touts the At Home section’s “brand new playlists, group FaceTime chats with artists at home and special artist interviews. We have always been a place for artists to connect with their fans and now their stories are even more genuine and personal and relatable and it’s just incredible. We’ve also launched a new ‘stream local’ initiative in many of our global regions to support and promote local artists and music.”

Now if only someone would make a playlist full of songs about trying to buy toilet paper online.

 

AND THE NOMINEES ARE...
The inevitable and the unexpected commingle. (11/24a)
TOP 100 WEEKLY MARKETSHARE:
THE TIGHTENING
Cue Archie Bell & the Drells. (11/24a)
STATE OF PLAY
IN THE U.K.
The first entry from our 2020 U.K. print special is now online. (11/24a)
AMAs TACKLED FOR LOSS BY SNF
Oof (11/24a)
MUSIC ORGS IMPLORE CONGRESS FOR HELP
The gang's all here. (11/24a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
ZOOM THANKSGIVING
We're virtually stuffing ourselves.
TRUMP'S LAWSUITS
He's lost 25 out of 26, and so tired of winning!
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)