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Spotify data shows how the holy month of Ramadan impacts the way people consume music

Spotify date highlights how the consumption of audio such as music and podcasts, changes to reflect this period in users’ lives. The data was pulled from eight key markets– Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Pakistan, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Indonesia – and shows a definitive shift to a more mindful, spiritual tone.

The data paints an interesting picture of how the consumption of audio such as music and podcasts, changes to reflect this period in users’ lives.

During Ramadan, the streaming of content such as music, meditative podcasts and yoga playlists, peaks at 8am across all the markets analysed, suggesting that listeners use the app to cultivate a sense of calm mindfulness going into the day. Quran readings are streamed at night or early morning. In general, people stream more at night during Ramadan, except for a sudden drop in use during sunset. This aligns with Muslims hitting pause for prayers and breaking their fasts with family, but then using the evening hours to unwind or seek out religious teachings.

In Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria there were drops in Scripted Fiction podcasts, as well as in a range of sports sub-genres, indicating a distinct shift away from entertainment in favour of the more mindful practices of the Holy Month. Curiously, Nigerian users have also been listening to more podcasts about Digital Culture during Ramadan, but other entertainment genres like Horror/Paranormal and Science Fiction and Fantasy have both seen marked drops.

During Ramadan in previous years, Spotify saw a 53% increase in the streaming of religious podcasts. This points to the use of the app for Quran readings, Islamic lectures, and other digital religious resources. Dive a little deeper to look at the sub-genres, and there’s an increase in listenership for ‘Human Interest’ and ‘Culture and Identity’ podcasts, at 27% and 24% respectively. In Nigeria, one of the largest shifts in the data is a 680% spike in the podcast genre ‘Trying Moments’.

The listening spike in Trying Moments podcasts indicates a search for empathy, connection and inspiration that comes from hearing others’ stories. The data suggests that music is being used as a powerful tool for influencing mood, helping to cultivate feelings of patience and positivity.

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