World Cup Recap: How Fans Streamed and What it Can Teach Us

The World Cup is a rare type of moment — a truly global and communal experience where everyone gathers around to watch passionate games together. And of course, to listen together.

At Spotify, we’ve been able to track how people respond to the madness of the World Cup through music. We’ve identified streaming trends that show how people soundtracked their World Cup in real time.

We saw that almost every country developed an “anthem” — a distinct song that became their go-to track throughout the World Cup. For Team France, the champions, that rallying cry was Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” And after they won it all, we saw streams of the song spike* 5,600% throughout the country, from city to city.

In England, that anthem was “Three Lions,” which reached an all-time high on Spotify after England emerged victorious over Colombia on July 3. And when we took a closer look at the timing of the streaming spike, we noticed something even more interesting.

Between 3PM and 6PM, “Three Lions” experienced a pregame spike, shooting up drastically in streams. Then, as the game kicked off, England fans turned down the volume to focus on the game. Of course, after the team’s huge win, the song saw a postgame spike, reaching an all-time high.

We saw this same trend in pregame and postgame spikes across the board, in Germany, Brazil and Iceland (and yes, France too) streaming spiked before the match, then dipped during the game and immediately spiked again right after.

So what does this mean for brands and marketers?

These are exactly the type of real-time, music-based insights that power our streaming intelligence — our unique understanding of our audience through streaming habits. And it’s these insights that allow us to tap into the power of daypart and context. By understanding when people listen (based on trends and spikes) and what they listen to (based on songs, genres, playlist titles and more), we can optimize how you reach them in meaningful moments, with relevant content.

*Streaming spike data reflects evening streams from Spotify free users in France