Spotify's new streaming report confirms that international artists are growing in popularity

Spotify's Loud & Clear music economics report found that artists from non-English speaking countries are growing in popularity.
Spotify's Loud & Clear music economics report found that artists from non-English speaking countries are growing in popularity. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Anca Ulea
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Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, and Korean lead the pack for performance in languages other than English, according to Spotify's Loud & Clear report.


It’s becoming increasingly obvious that speaking English is no longer a prerequisite for global musical success in the streaming age.

After Luminate’s 2023 Year-End Music Report found more young US listeners are gravitating towards “world music” in languages other than English, Spotify’s Loud & Clear report confirmed that global listeners have developed increasingly diverse music tastes.

The annual music economics report, which was released today (Tuesday, 19 March), found that over half of the artists who generated at least $10,000 (€9,220) on Spotify are from countries where English is not the first language.

The most popular languages outside English were Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, and Korean. Hindi, Indonesian, Punjabi, Tamil, and Greek also saw huge upticks in 2023.

Other insights from Spotify’s Loud & Clear report revealed that artists signed to independent labels have gained ground in streaming – for the first time ever, the catalogues of indie and DIY artists represented about half of all revenues generated on Spotify in 2023, a total of $4.5 billion (€4.1 billion).

The Swedish streaming giant claims that streaming has opened the door to a wider variety of artists, who would have had trouble making a living from their music before the advent of streaming.

“The overwhelming majority of artists on Spotify wouldn’t have had music on the shelf in the CD era,” the report states. “If you were to list out all of the artists on Spotify, in order of how much money they generated, even the 50,000th in rank generated at minimum $16,500 (€15,200) from Spotify alone.”

That figure is also much larger when taking into account revenues from other streaming platforms, the report says.

Spotify has been on a charm offensive in recent months, hitting back at criticism that it doesn’t pay artists fairly for their work.

At the start of 2024, the company implemented new policies for how it pays royalties, including a controversial move to demonetise tracks that get fewer than 1,000 plays.

Spotify’s leadership says the new approach will help get more money to artists. Managing director of Spotify UK Tom Connaughton told The Guardian last year that the changes will “give a further $1 billion (€921,000) to emerging and professional artists over the span of the next five years.”

“There are still bad actors who attempt to steal money from the pool that should be going to hardworking emerging and professional artists,” he added.

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