Sunnier Days Bring Higher-Energy, Happier-Sounding Music
Listeners Turn to Sadder, Low-Energy Music on Rainy Days
“Rain, rain go away, come again another day” is exactly the vibe Spotify listeners have on rainy days. The music streaming service partnered with AccuWeather, the largest, most accurate source of forecasts and weather warnings in the world, to determine how weather affects music listening. The findings? Fingers crossed the sun keeps shining.
Spotify and AccuWeather correlated a year’s worth of weather data to over 85 billion streams on Spotify. Starting today, you can visit Climatune to check out the real-time weather in your city* and listen to a corresponding playlist that reflects the mood of the weather pattern in that location.
To bring you Climatune, Spotify analyzed listening data for five kinds of weather data, including sun, clouds, rain, wind and snow. They found:
- Sunny days typically bring higher-energy, happier-sounding music — songs that feel fast, loud and noisy, with more “action,” as well as happy, cheerful, euphoric emotions associated with the major mode and other musical factors.
- Rainy days bring lower-energy, sadder-sounding music with more acoustic vs. electronic sounds
- Snowy days bring more instrumental music
However, it’s all about location, location, location when it comes to weather and listening. Some cities respond strongly to particular weather patterns more than others. For example, in the U.S.:
- New York City and Philadelphia music lovers are the most affected by bad weather; residents of these cities substantially change their listening when it rains
- Unlike most city residents, Chicagoans actually get excited by the rain and stream happier music
- Miami and Seattle listeners don’t mind the clouds – they buck the trend and listen to more energetic music on cloudy days
- San Franciscans, on the other hand, seem saddest on cloudy days
- Houston responds the most strongly to rain – they ditch the synthesizers and drum machines and their acoustic listening increases by 121 percent when it rains
“There is a clear connection between what’s in the skies and what’s on users’ play queues,” said Spotify data researcher, Ian Anderson. “For almost all of the major cities around the world that we studied, sunny days translate to higher streams of happier-sounding music,” said Anderson. “Sunny weather has an even bigger impact in Europe.”
For more on methodology, check out insights.spotify.com.
*For locations where we do not have weather data, you will see data for the city located closest to your dataset.