News #

Evolution in Music Listening Behavior - KKBOX Revealed Four Major Trends Identified by Big Data Analytics



Evolution in Music Listening Behavior
KKBOX Revealed Four Major Trends Identified by Big Data Analytics

1. The most-searched keywords on KKBOX in the first half of 2017 are revealed and music relates closely to social buzz and current affairs
2. Music streaming and online gigs go mainstream
3. Mainstream music is diversifying and EDM is music hottest trend 
4. Playlist have surpassed album listenership

With 13 years of success in digital music streaming business, over 10 million members across the region and more than 50 billion clicks, Asia’s leading music streaming brand KKBOX, published its big data analytics from the Digital Music Survey, a collaborative project between KKBOX Research Center and AC Nielsen.


Top search keywords received by KKBOX Singapore in the first half of 2017 are Big BangBTSbeauty and the beastcloserColdplayEric 周興哲、Ed SheeranFadedHebe田馥甄、Shape of YouTWICE、五月天、林俊傑、告白氣球、妮妮、周杰倫、张学友、梦想的声音、演員、薛之謙 (by order of stroke-counts, not in any order of ranking). Asian superstars May Day, Jay Chou and JJ Lin maintained their dominance as the top searched keywords, while new songs, such as “Actor”(演员) by Joker Xue (薛之谦)and “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran, rapidly rose to the top of the popularity chart. One of the greatest bands of all time, Coldplay has recently put on two blockbuster shows in Singapore National Stadium with an impressive crowd of 100 000 audiences. In the same month, the play count of Coldplay’s songs on KKBOX increased 62%, and their all-time hits such “Yellow,” “Scientist,” and “Viva La Vida” has also doubled in play count. Meantime Internet celebrities have taken the Internet by storm, thanks to their online popularity and spontaneous viral effect. Singapore’s very own songwriter-singer, Hubert Ng, has recently worked with an Internet celebrity couple from Taiwan, Nico & Kim to release a single called “Nini”. The song surged to the top of the KKBOX New Song Chart immediately after the release.


The global music industry has undergone some pretty dramatic changes in recent years and Asia was no exception. The rapid rise of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) has created a brand new pop language within the young community. During the past year, the play count of EDM genre has grown by 1.5 times. In terms of the most frequently played songs by language in Singapore, the Chinese songs takes up more than 50%, followed by Western music which holds 24%. Korean music has also steadily grown as one of the most favored language and it occupies 10% of the total music consumption. Also, the volume of music listening is associated directly with social events and concerts as the play count of certain songs tend to increase before KTV visit as well as concert & post-concert period.


1.     The most-searched keywords on KKBOX in the first half of 2017 are revealed and music relates closely to social buzz and current affairs


The most-searched keywords on KKBOX in the first half of 2017 show indicated that songs are made popular by music programs has higher tendency of being searched by music lovers and fans, hence, casting a limelight to the original singer. For instance, after Hebe Tien performed her rendition of Joker Xue’s “Actor” at a Chinese music program, searches of the keyword “actor” on KKBOX  has skyrocketed, and brought the original singer to the center of attention, with 7 songs by Joker Xue has successfully charted in Top 50 songs. In 2017, the song “Actor” has peaked “KKBOX Daily Chart” for 103 consecutive days, as well as spending 34 weeks on the Top 10 of “KKBOX Weekly Chart”.  Internet sensations has extended well beyond its existing boundaries, and has contributed to the revolution of music scene. Internet celebrity Nico & Kim, who garnered 2 million LIKEs on their fan page, has successfully peaked “KKBOX Weekly Chart” for 6 consecutive weeks with the single “Nini”, which is written by Kim herself and composed by local uprising musician, Hubert Ng.

2.     Music streaming and online gigs go mainstream

According to the 2016 Online, Digital Music Market Survey by AC Nielsen, it has proven that music consumption by Singapore consumers are shifting towards online streaming platforms. Although illegal and free music platforms are still dominating the market as a whole, the listenership has been pretty static. At the same time, the rate of downloads, physical CD purchases and radio listenership are declining. The only music source that has been progressing steadily is the monthly music subscription service, which has grown by 10% compared to the survey completed in 2015.


In a detailed survey conducted recently, KKBOX has indicated that most members were attracted to the convenience of music streaming, where 37% members were enticed by the offline listening feature, 35% of them enjoy cross-devices listening pleasure, which include usage of smartphone, PC & tablet. 25% members are pleased by the diversity of music genre and extensive music database while another 23% are fascinated with the personalized recommendations feature. On the other hand, 44% of the respondents have previously enjoyed concert online, with age group of 25 – 34 years old, contributing to 47%.  This result suggests that online streaming technology provides convenience in music consumption and creates a unique listening experience. Mobile devices are widely consumed in Singapore and all respondents of this survey own at least one smart phone.


3.     Mainstream music is diversifying and EDM is music hottest trend

K-Pop has taken the world by storm and this phenomenon is reflected in KKBOX too, whereby the play count of Korean music genre has surpassed 10% of total music consumption. The rise of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is pretty significant where the play count has multiplied 1.5 times from 2.9% to 4.69% in 2016.

4.     Playlist have surpassed album listenership

Playlists have surpassed albums as a format for music listening for the first time ever. Playlists are organized by theme, scenarios and music styles that make it convenient and easier to consume, satisfy users' music playing needs as well as offering more opportunities for music discovery. Data derived from the recent survey shows that 54% of KKBOX users are “playlist driven”, for example new songs that are created under “Mandarin New Singles” received over a million play count on a weekly basis. Among the various theme, the most popular ones are “love,” “relaxation,” “sports,” “rejuvenation,” “family” and “party.”


*The Digital Music Survey conducted by AC Nielsen interviewed users of KKBOX in Singapore who are between 15 and 45 years old and have listened to music online in the past month. The period of survey started on January 5, 2017 and ended on January 17, 2017.  A total of 503 persons have been interviewed with a sampling error of 4.37%.

KKBOX media contacts

Gwen Ng

Back to top