Oldies are golden and pop stars lose their luster: our quarantine listening habits

Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, and kids’ tunes are on the rise.


April 27, 2020

What’s on your pandemic playlist?

According to The Wall Street Journal, it may not be pop music: From mid-March to mid-April, Spotify streams of the top 200 US songs fell by 28%, to a low point for 2020 so far.

The trend is fueling a decline in music consumption that started around March 12, when states began issuing shelter-in-place orders. Some of the world’s biggest stars are canceling or postponing tours and pushing back releases because of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, kids’ tunes are on the rise…

…because parents are searching for anything to keep them occupied.

Quartz published a list of the artists whose streams saw the biggest fluctuations from early March to early April, and Kidz Bop was up the most (+9.5%).

Older artists are playing a redemption song

Streams of Bob Marley’s catalog jumped 23% over the 3 weeks leading up to April 2, compared to the previous month. Also seeing revivals: Bob Dylan, Hank Williams Jr., and country stars like Kenny Chesney.

PSA for anyone who needs something new to spin: The Rolling Stones’ “Living in a Ghost Town” is our new quarantine anthem.

The rock legends tweaked the song to reflect life in lockdown before releasing it by surprise last week. It was their first original material since 2012, and it just hit No. 1 on iTunes in 20+ countries.

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