Spotify Touts ‘Crossover Effect’ of Artist Collabs & Their Streaming Numbers

Spotify illustrates the crossover effect
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Spotify illustrates the crossover effect
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Photo Credit: Melanie van Leeuwen

Spotify says the ‘crossover effect’ of artist collaborations is magnified on streaming services. 

The service highlights how Run-D.M.C. linking up with Aerosmith to do their own take on “Walk This Way,” resulting in an international smash hit. It helped give birth to the rap-rock genre, and it remains the rap group’s biggest hit to date, racking up millions of streams on Spotify. But what about modern collaborations, with streaming as the main distribution platform? Let’s take a peek.

“I think one of the biggest things is how music collaboration can connect genres,” says John Stein, Spotify’s North America Head of Editorial. “We see a lot more of these collaborations, and I think each artist’s core audience seems to be more open to these moments than in the past.”

Spotify took a look at the 40 biggest crossover collaborations in music from the last 12 years. It found that six months after a collab released, 75% of artists involved with the collab saw an increase of 10% in their overall Spotify streams. More than 50% of those artists saw their streaming numbers rise at least 50%, while 30% saw an increase of 100% to their streaming numbers in the six-month period after their collab dropped. 

Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ take on “Old Town Road” remix is one of the best examples of this. In the six months following that song’s release, the increase in shared listeners between the two artists increased 390,000%. Spotify also highlights “Despacito,” released in 2017 by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. The song became huge in its own right, but it blew up even more when Justin Bieber joined the remix. 

Six months following the Justin Bieber remix, Luis saw his streams jump 2,600%. Streams of his music in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada spiked 4,300% in the six months following the release of “Despacito,” driven by the release of the Bieber remix. 

Spotify says crossover collaborations increase Spotify searches for artists involved in a popular collab, too. When Grupo Frontera collaborated with Bad Bunny on “un x100to,” that collab helped Música Mexicana’s status as an explosive genre on the rise. Daily Spotify searches for the group surged more than 330%. At the peak, searches for Grupo Frontera increased more than 1,100%. 

Spotify for Artists’ recent fan study also revealed that international artists see increased reach when they collaborate with someone outside of their home market