Spotify Unveils New Social Distancing Trends


The ‘yanos’ are keeping locals connected


While people around the world continue adjusting to spending more time indoors, Spotify has seen new streaming trends emerge.


Based on global data pulled between 17 April – 17 May, listeners are sound tracking activities from home-schooling to painting to dying their hair. And let’s not forget cleaning: Spotify has seen a more than 40% increase in listeners around the world creating playlists to enthusiastically clean their homes to (and not-so-enthusiastically, based on TLC’s “No Scrubs” being a popular song choice in these playlists). And just because we’ve been in lockdown, doesn’t mean that locals aren’t taking some time to have a little fun. AmaPiano remains a popular choice, especially for those looking to add some new dance moves to their socials. 


Here’s a round-up of some of the trends Spotify has seen. You’ll also find the stats here on Spotify’s blog, For the Record:  


  • South Africans like to party: Yes, we may be spending more time at home, but live streamed concerts have been all the buzz. With so many artists and DJs treating their fans to their music, fans have also been enjoying their own private parties.

o    During this time, South African listeners have shown us how much love they have for AmaPiano - making it the most streamed local genre in the country on Spotify.

o    This is highlighted by the popularity of the AmaPiano Grooves  playlist over this period, and it’s easy to see why. The playlist features AmaPiano stars, Scorpion Kings with “Indaba Ka Bani,” “Ndikuze”by Major League Djz, Tikoloshi by Soweto’s Finest and more.

o    According to popular AmaPiano producer, DJ Maphorisa, ‘’AmaPiano is a sound for everyone, across all ages. Families are quarantined together, the kids are playing these songs all the time and now their parents are also falling in love with AmaPiano. What also keeps AmaPiano at the forefront are the new trending dance moves that pop up. People are learning these dance moves so that they can post them to their socials.”

o    Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnerships Manager for South Africa weighs in on how South Africans have embraced AmaPiano on the platform. “In such a short time we’ve seen AmaPiano’s audience on Spotify expand even during this unprecedented time.  I think this speaks to the connectedness the genre breeds amongst its fans at a time when they can’t physically get together.’’


  • Hair gone wild: There has been about a 50% increase, globally, in the creation of playlists to inspire people while dealing (struggling?) with hair maintenance. Spotify determined this by looking at key words in playlist titles, including “haircut” “dying hair” and “hair dye.” 

o    Some popular song additions to all these hair-themed playlists include: “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne, “Sugar, We're Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy, “The Middle” By Jimmy Eat World, and  “High Hopes” by Panic! At The Disco.

o    It seems Germans are particularly fastidious about their hair: Germany has seen the highest rate of plays of hair-themed playlists during this period.   


  • Home school hysteria: It seems parents and students are turning to music to get through the challenges of homeschooling. There has been a more than 1,000% increase in the creation of home school-themed playlists globally. 

o    Popular tracks added to these playlists include: “Supalonely” by BENEE and Gus Dapperton, “Sucker” by Jonas Brothers, “Circles” by Post Malone, and “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa.  

o    It’s not all work and no play, though; with a more than 1000% jump in playlists being created around Nintendo’s popular Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a family-friendly life simulation video game that’s providing an escape. 


  • People are exploring their creativity: Spotify has seen an increase of about 40% in colouring-themed playlists being created globally. And a more than 90% increase in painting-themed playlists being created. Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” is a popular song pick in these; shout out to those painting nude portraits! 


  • Working from Home is better with music: We've seen a more than 1,400% increase in working-from-home-themed playlists created between 17 April – 17 May (compared to the first ten days in March).

o    The most added track to these playlists is “Work From Home” by Fifth Harmony (feat. Ty Dolla $ign). Other popular songs added to these playlists include: “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd, “Light On” by Maggie Rogers, “10,000 hours” by Dan + Shay (with Justin Bieber), “Boss Bitch” by Doja Cat,  and “Delicate” by Taylor Swift. 


  • Baking is the new “Ommmm…”: Spotify has seen a more than 120% increase in baking-themed playlists being created. 

o    Popular songs added include: “Sunday Best” by Surfaces, “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson, “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles, “Sugar” by Maroon 5, and “everything i wanted” by Billie Eilish. 

o    Listeners created approximately 225% more banana bread-themed playlists between April 17 and May 17. There are now more than 2,750 banana bread playlists on Spotify.


  • Listeners have been busy cleaning: Yes, cleaning.  Spotify has seen about a 40% increase in cleaning-themed playlists being created, and a more than 65% increase in streaming of those playlists in the past month. 

o    On Spotify, users have created more than 940,000 cleaning playlists. Popular song choices include “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson, “No Scrubs” by TLC, “Roar” by Katy Perry, “Toxic” by Britney Spears, “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, and “Work” by Drake and Rihanna. 

o    Spotify’s popular “Cleaning Kit” playlist has seen about a 30% increase in streaming. is an award-winning Digital Media, Marketing, and Advertising Company est. 2015, is a Member of the Independent Media Association of South Africa (IMASA), and Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Ambassadors, with a global reach of over 10 million

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