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K-Pop and DJ collabs finally take India’s Gen-Z beyond Bollywood

By Ananya Bhattacharya

A massive collection of Bollywood songs has been considered essential for a music streaming service to succeed in India so far. But looks like that’s not the case anymore.

Indian GenZ (aged between 18 and 24) has moved on, according to recent data from Swedish music streaming giant Spotify, which launched in India in February and has already amassed over two million users.

Over the past 60 days, Spotify’s Gen Z users in India streamed singers and rappers from Europe as well as popular K-Pop bands from across the world.

Collaborative tracks with DJs gave artistes the maximum opportunity to be discovered, be it American singer Normani collaborating with Khalid for Love Lies, or Scottish band CHVRCHES with Marshmello for Here With Me.

RankArtisteNationalityReason for discoverability
1NormaniAmericanDJ collab with Khalid for Love Lies
2CHVRCHSScottishDJ collab with Marshmello for Here With Me
3Cigarettes After SexAmerican
4Au/RaGerman/AntiguanDJ Collab with Alan Walker for Darkside
5AronChupaSwedish
6Haley ReinhartAmericanCovers
7TOMORROW X TOGETHERSouth KoreanK-Pop
8Steven Goldmund(Unknown)Sleep/meditation
9iKONSouth KoreanK-Pop
10Rand AldoSwedishSleep/meditation

The company recently launched a pared-down version of its app in India for lower-end Android phones.

“Since February 2019, we now power an average of 11 billion artist discoveries per month (globally) on the platform,” the company said. “In fact, 18 to 24-year-old listeners are particularly limitless when it comes to the genre of the artistes they decide to stream for the first time.” This age group is the largest on Spotify worldwide, comprising more than 34% of overall listeners.

In the list of top 40 most discovered artists, 25% of artists were K-Pop. These included boy bands (TOMORROW X TOGETHER), girl bands (TWICE),  and independent artists (SUNMI).

Discoverability rankK-Pop Artist
1TOMORROW X TOGETHER
2iKON
3SUNMI
4TWICE
5MAMAMOO
6BIGBANG
7ITZY
8MOMOLAND
9SEVENTEEN
10Red Velvet

Interestingly, artists creating sleep and meditation music such as Steven Goldmund and Rand Aldo also emerged in India’s discovery.