Spotify, a global online streaming platform, has revealed that music is a powerful tool for influencing mood, helping to cultivate feelings of patience and positivity, especially during the Ramadan period.
Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy, Spotify Sub Saharan Africa’s Managing Director, in a statement on Thursday, said this was according to Spotify’s recent data.
Muhutu-Remy said the data painted an interesting picture of how the consumption of audio such as music and podcasts, changed to reflect the Ramadan period in users’ lives.
According to her, the data pulled from eight key markets — Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Pakistan, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Indonesia — and showed a definitive shift to a more mindful, spiritual tone.
“The top three moods for music streamed on Spotify during Ramadan are ’chill’, ‘happy’ and ‘free’ states of mind that can all contribute to the experience of a blessed Ramadan.
“The data suggests that music is being used as a powerful tool for influencing mood, helping to cultivate feelings of patience and positivity.
“Spotify also found that users use chill audio content ‘to enhance their experience of other highly personal activities, consistent with looking to disconnect, like taking a walk outside or sharing a meal with their partner after a day at work’.
“So the use of chill music during this time could be a result of users setting out to create a contemplative mood,” she said.
According to her, during Ramadan, the streaming of content such as music, meditative podcasts and yoga playlists, peaks at 8 a.m. across all the markets analysed.
She said this suggested that listeners use the app to cultivate a sense of calm mindfulness going into the day.
She explained that Qur’an readings were streamed at night or early in the 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.
“Music and storytelling, which is what podcasting is, are deeply intertwined in the way we experience the world, whether it be how we celebrate, or in the case of Ramadan, how we contemplate the many facets of our lives.
“Religion and spirituality are deeply personal experiences, and we are humbled that people turn to Spotify to give expression to these parts of their lives,” she said.
Muhutu-Remy noted that in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria there were drops in scripted fiction podcasts and 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.
She said curiously, Nigerian users had also been listening to more podcasts about digital culture during Ramadan, but other entertainment genres like horror/paranormal and science fiction and fantasy were both seen marked drops.
“More connections, less drama during Ramadan in previous years.
“Spotify saw a 53 per cent 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 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.
“In Nigeria, one of the largest shifts in the data is a 680 per cent spike in the podcast genre ‘Trying Moments,” she said.