Over half of the artists who generated at least $10,000 on Spotify last year are from countries where English is not the first language

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MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a data point that deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is supported by music data analytics firm Chartmetric.

A new report from Spotify sheds light on just how quickly music culture is globalizing, and shifting away from the English-language content that has dominated the music scene for generations.

According to the latest edition of Spotify’s annual Loud & Clear music economics report, over half of the artists who generated more than $10,000 on the music streaming platform in 2023 were from countries where English is not the first language.

Some 66,000 artists generated at least $10,000 on Spotify in 2023 – nearly triple the number of artists (23,400) who generated that much in 2017, according to the report. The report estimates that this means they generated some $40,000 across all recorded music revenue sources.

“Artists who – in the past – might have struggled to break through are now finding their audiences, and the music industry today is a more diverse and accurate reflection of the world we live in,” Spotify stated in the report.

“Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, and Korean lead the pack for performance in languages other than English – while Hindi, Indonesian, Punjabi, Tamil, and Greek all saw huge upticks in 2023.”

“Artists who – in the past – might have struggled to break through are now finding their audiences, and the music industry today is a more diverse and accurate reflection of the world we live in.”


Spotify’s report puts some hard numbers to the trends apparent throughout the musical ecosystem – the rise of Latin music, K-pop, Indian music and Afrobeats being just some examples of this trend.

Not surprisingly, this means that the dominance of English-language music, especially from anglosphere countries, is diminishing.

In a presentation delivered at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, on Friday (March 15), Luminate CEO Rob Jonas shed further light on this trend. According to Luminate – the market data firm behind the Billboard charts – the share of English-language tracks streamed worldwide is decreasing quickly.

Chart: Luminate

Among the top 10,000 most-streamed music tracks in 2023 (both audio and video), 54.9% were in English, down nearly seven percentage points from 62.1% in 2022 – which, in turn, was down from 67.0% in 2021.

If this pace continues, by next year, English-language tracks will have dropped from being two-thirds of the most popular songs worldwide, to less than half, in just three years.

Luminate’s data showed that English-language music is declining in popularity even within the US, with Spanish-language music being the major beneficiary.

Of the top 10,000 tracks in the US in 2023, 88.8% were in English, down 3.8 percentage points from 2021. Spanish-language tracks accounted for 8.1% of the top 10,000, nearly doubling their share from 4.3% in 2021.

Chart: Luminate

And Latin music isn’t alone. In a separate report released earlier this month, Spotify said that global consumption of music from India soared by more than 2,000% in the five years that Spotify has been operating in the country. In 2023 alone, global consumption of Indian music jumped 85% compared to the previous year.

Spotify also noted that Indian music is becoming more popular within India as well: In Spotify’s first year in the market, 70% of the music consumed on the platform was international; today, 70% is from India.

And that’s saying something, given that India has one of the fastest-growing music markets in the world. Data in Luminate’s year-end report for 2023 indicates that India could overtake the US as the largest music streaming market – by volume, if not by revenue – as soon as next year.

Spotify India statistics
Chart: Spotify

As music becomes more linguistically diverse in English-speaking countries, many non-English-speaking countries are seeing an explosion in the popularity of local content, in what is now dubbed “glocalization” – the trend of music tastes becoming more local even as the music industry itself becomes more global.

Perhaps the most intense example of this trend can be seen in Latin America, where – according to data released by Spotify last December – Latin music has staged a near-total takeover.

Between 2014, when Spotify began expanding into Latin America, and 2023, the share of Latin music consumed on the platform in Mexico went from 49% to 88%. In Colombia, it went from 36% to 87%, and in Argentina, it grew from 25% to 94%.

Chart: Spotify

However, glocalization isn’t limited to Spanish-speaking countries. According to a recent analysis of Luminate data carried out by Will Page (a former chief economist at Spotify and fellow at the London School of Economics European Institute) and Chris Dalla Riva (who works in analytics and personalization at Audiomack), larger European countries stand out in the glocalization trend.

German artists went “from presence to prominence” in 2023, capturing eight of the spots among the 10 most-listened-to artists in Germany, Page wrote in a guest column for MBW.

“Consumers used to get what they were given on local radio, whereas now they choose what they want on global streaming. And what they increasingly want is local.”

Will Page

In France, Italy, Sweden and Poland, half or more of the top 10 artists were local in 2023, Page noted.

“On the supply side, digitization has meant production and distribution costs have fallen, more data enables labels to learn what consumers actually want, and [there is] less global prioritization from international companies,” he wrote.

“On the demand side, it’s easy: consumers used to get what they were given on local radio, whereas now they choose what they want on global streaming. And what they increasingly want is local.”

Other news from Spotify’s Loud & Clear report

Among other data in Spotify’s latest Loud & Clear report is the news that the music streaming service paid out more than $9 billion to the music industry in 2023, in what it called “the highest annual payment to the music industry from any single retailer” ever.

Meanwhile, music publishing rights holders received nearly $4 billion of the money paid out by Spotify over the last two years.

“Publishers, songwriters, and their CMOs are seeing more than 2x the revenue ($5.5 billion in 2022) in the streaming era than they ever had in the CD/sales era ($2.5 billion in 2001),” the Spotify report stated, citing research from Will Page.

The Spotify report found that 11,600 artists generated more than $100,000 on the platform in 2023 (likely meaning they generated around $400,000 across all music sales), while 1,250 generated more than $1 million on Spotify (or $4 million in total).

Yet that amounts to a small fraction of the artists who’ve actually uploaded music to Spotify – something the company says is not surprising.

In 2023, more than 10 million uploaders had at least a single track on Spotify, but the platform estimated that only around 225,000 of them are “emerging and professional artists that are building careers.”

“As a point of comparison, FIFA estimated there are hundreds of millions of people who self-identify as ‘footballers,’ but 128,694 people are actually getting paid any amount of money from it,” the Spotify report stated. “While music and sports are quite different, this demonstrates how widespread the aspiration is to participate in creative and athletic pursuits and make a living from them.

“Another way to think about it: The 10+ million uploaders on Spotify are comparable to the tens of millions who have uploaded at least a single video to YouTube, often just to share something they enjoy with the world. The number of creators trying to build a career as a video creator is much smaller.”

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