Music streaming is through the roof this year.
With acts from all over the world taking over the charts and doing so in record fashion.
American music acts are on the list of chart-topping hits from Miley Cyrus, whose single "Flowers" reached one billion streams faster than any song in Spotifyhistory in 2023. To SZA's smash hit "Kill Bill," which has also amassed more than a billion streams this year.
Luminate, one of the leaders in global entertainment data and research, says global streams have already topped one trillion this year.
The fastest climb to a trillion streams since the inception of music streaming reached just three months into the year, a full month faster than last year. And with that growth comes an increasing interest in non-English-language music.
Luminate’s report found nearly 40% of music listeners in the U.S. enjoy music in languages other than English.
Spanish and K-pop are leading the surge in global pop music.
"They both have incredibly loyal and passionate fan bases, and that really creates an environment where fans are always on the lookout for new music," said Jaime Marconette.
Marconette is Luminate’s senior director of music insights and industry relations.
When asked if English-speaking artists are losing their global appeal, Marconette said what we're seeing is most likely due to the increase of people speaking other languages other than English in the country.
"I think that's a fair question, but I think that's a really complicated answer because I don't know if they're losing their appeal," said Marconette. "But I think that what we're seeing is probably a bit of a rise of native languages, or languages that are specific to certain regions, or even diasporas as they move to other countries, starting to grow."
Latin megastar Bad Bunny’s "Un Verano Sin Ti," which dropped in the Spring of 2022, continues to dominate Luminate’s mid-year top album chart in 2023.
When it comes to both physical and digital sales, K-pop is as pop as it gets.
"The number one source of discovery for K-pop fans here in the U.S. is video and then also audio streaming services; you know, these K-pop fans are also 76% more likely to stream music than the average listener," said Marconette.
Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Italian, German, and Arabic have all emerged as popular languages for non-anglophonic music.
The cultural melting pot that is the U.S. is also helping the rise of non-English music.
"But one of the things that we're seeing is that changing population demographics is definitely making the import of music from other countries easier," said Marconette.
Content platforms like YouTube and social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram also bring the world’s music to U.S. listeners and make it easier for people to share new songs.
"There are really no borders; there are really no geographical barriers," said Marconette. "We're finding that fans in other countries are very easily able to access all sorts of music; you know, really, the world's music library is essentially available."
While it's safe to say English-speaking music will always be around, American music executives are certainly paying attention to the shift. That means they're scoping out international talent more than ever.
"Understanding population changes, you know, those sorts of things together can really guide the way for, you know, music to cross borders, whether, you know, internationally or coming into the U.S. as well," said Marconette.
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