As I was doing this week’s Texas Music Spotify Chart, I started wondering if there was a way to measure the growth of consumption of Texas/Red Dirt Music using some of the Spotify data I’ve collected over the years.
So here’s what I did. I pulled up a Texas Music Spotify Chart from 2 years ago and took the weekly stream counts and total stream counts of the 54 songs that were on it and compared it to the top 54 songs on our most current Texas Music Spotify Chart. Here were the results:
Texas Music Spotify Chart: 9/13/2016
- Combined Weekly Stream Count of top 54 songs: 388,070
- Combined Total Stream Count of top 54 songs: 4,376,647
Texas Music Spotify Chart: 9/4/2018
- Combined Weekly Stream Count of top 54 songs: 1,017,867
- Combined Total Stream Count of top 54 songs: 12,592,051
Difference in consumption of current Texas/Red Dirt singles:
- Combined Weekly Stream Count growth: 162% (629,797+)
- Combined Total Stream Count growth: 188% (8,215,404+)
I was pleasantly surprised to see the numbers come out so closely, so I compared a few more charts that were spaced 2 years apart and sure enough the numbers came out similarly. This made be then wonder if there was at least one more way I could quantify the growth via Spotify data. I dug through some old spreadsheets, and was able to find one I used to compile a “Most Streamed Texas/Red Dirt Artists” list in 2016 that had the amount of Monthly listeners at that current time for each artist. So I took the 5 artists who currently have the most monthly listeners (Cody Johnson, Cody Jinks, Aaron Watson, Josh Abbott, and Whiskey Myers) and compared their current amount of monthly listeners to 2016. Here were the results:
- 2016 Average monthly listeners for the 5 artists who currently have the most monthly listeners: 228,950
- 2018 Average monthly listeners for the 5 artists who currently have the most monthly listeners: 656,967
- Growth rate of monthly listeners for the 5 artists who currently have the most monthly listeners from 2016-2018: 187%
Wow! That’s some pretty significant growth and consistent with the chart data! But then I wondered how much of that growth has come from just more people using the platform, and how much of it is coming from an actual increase of interest for our scene. Using data of Spotify’s user growth, we can actually reasonably account for how much of the increase is coming from the general growth of the platform.
Over the last two years Spotify’s Monthly Active Users have grown from 105 Million to 185 Million; that’s a growth rate of about 75%. There’s nothing to indicate that consumers of Texas/Red Dirt music have flocked to the platform greater than the average, so we can reasonably attribute the portion of the growth in consumption likely coming from a general growth in Spotify users…and after looking at the numbers above, you can see the increase in consumption is far great than 75%!
Here’s what it looks like with real numbers. The top 50 current Texas/Red Dirt singles are being listened to about 650K more times a week than they were 2 years ago. We can attribute about 291K of those listens to the growth of the platform… but that sill leaves 339K listens to attribute to something else. The top 50 current Texas singles have been listened to 8 million more total times compared to 2 years ago. We can attribute 3.3 million of those streams to the growth of the platform…but that still leaves 4.7 million streams to attribute to other factors. The 5 artists who currently have the most monthly listeners have seen an increase of 428K listeners over the last two years. We can attribute 171K of those monthly listeners to the growth of the platform…but that still leaves 256K monthly listeners to attribute to other factors.
So what are those other factors? While there are likely some other things to consider, the majority of the increase in consumption of Texas/Red Dirt music, beyond just the overall growth of the platform, is obviously coming from the increased interest, listenership, and fandom of our scene. I know many of us have “felt” or “sensed” a growing fan base for our music, but, I believe this data from Spotify provides some actual proof! Yes, I know the analysis above isn’t perfect, but I think it definitely provides a pretty strong case showing more and more people are listening to Texas/Red Dirt music!
Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.