Gamers love Hip Hop but also listen to Tyler ICU’s Mnike
Gaming, listening to music, and watching television form a part of many people’s daily routines. We play games, stream music, and watch our favourite shows and movies regularly. When it comes to music streaming specifically, we’ve seen an increased number of South African users streaming music on devices other than mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers.
“At Spotify, we ensure that millions of songs can be streamed on various devices like televisions and gaming consoles. Seeing the uptake in users streaming their favorite tunes on devices other than the norm, encourages us to keep innovating our product offering,” says Spotify’s Head of Music for Sub-Saharan Africa Phiona Okumu.
Spotify Wrapped 2023 reveals that South African gamers mostly stream international Hip Hop songs on their consoles, but this year’s top streamed song in South Africa, Tyler ICU’s Mnike, captured even the heart of gamers, making it the only South African track in the top ten streamed songs on consoles at number four. The rest of the list is occupied by international stars including Dave’s Sprinter, Gunna’s fukumean and Drake’s Rich Flex to name a few.
Mnike is also the most streamed South African song on televisions, thanks to its virality on social media. However, to see an Amapiano song on the gaming console list solidifies the genre’s staying power seeing that the entire list is dominated by Hip Hop songs.
“From afar, you would not necessarily associate a genre like Amapiano with gamers, especially if you’ve never closely listened to its songs. The genre travels, we have seen with the export data, and now it is resonating with gamers,” Okumu adds.
Hip Hop and gaming have always had a relationship that dates back many years, making it a perfect cultural fit. The trend is also visible with the global Spotify Wrapped results, where the top ten artists being streamed on gaming consoles are all Hip Hop artists including Drake, Juice WRLD, Travis Scott and 21 Savage, same as South Africa.
Unlike gamers, Spotify users who listen on TV have a mixture of both international and local songs, with a clear preference for Amapiano. On the television side’s top five most streamed South African songs, Mnike sits alongside Soa Mattrix’s Mina Nawe, DJ Stokie’s Awukhuzeki, Lady Amar’s Hamba Juba, and Mellow & Sleazy’s Imnandi lento (feat. Tman Xpress). And while gaming consoles are lacking in female artists in the top ten tracks, TV users have a great mix of male and female including Miley Cyrus Flowers, SZA’s Snooze and Libianca’s People.
On other devices like the wearables and speakers, Spotify users also lean more into non-South African songs similar to the users on game consoles. Flowers leads on speakers, while David Guetta’s I’m Good (Blue) leads on wearables.