People streamed music from their gaming consoles 55% more this year compared to last year, Spotify told CNN Business.
“This year was unlike [any] before and as people started to social distance, users were looking for ways to stay connected with each other virtually,” said Shanon Cook, Spotify’s head of global culture and trends. “Gaming seemed to be something that provided that feeling of connectivity, while also passing time at home.”
It’s hardly a surprise that streaming is up across the board, but Spotify told CNN Business there were some unexpected trends this year.
Gamers tuned in early. The music streamed on gaming consoles between the hours of 6 am and 9mam rose 47% from last year. Their preferred genre? Mostly rap and trap music. The top songs streamed on gaming consoles included “The Box” by Roddy Ricch, “Blueberry Faygo” by Lil Mosey, “goosebumps” by rapper Travis Scott, “ROCKSTAR” by DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch and “Falling” by Trevor Daniel.
2020 was also a big year for virtual artists — musicians represented by fictional personas, such as the band Gorillaz. Japanese virtual singer Hatsune Miku saw streams go up 136% this year.
Riot said that its invention of K/DA has helped it reach a broader audience beyond League gamers and get more people interested in the game’s content, it told CNN Business in a statement.
Cook said that gaming and music go hand in hand, as gamers tend to listen while they play.
Spotify is continuing to look at partnerships with gaming corporations. Most recently, Spotify partnered with League of Legends, and it continues to work with Microsoft and Sony on the Xbox and PlayStation platforms.
As gaming console streams have increased, Spotify has added to its curated playlists, “thinking through how and what people want to listen to while they play,” said Cook.