What countries listen to the most Christmas songs?

Some new data from the music streaming service Spotify gives some interesting insight into which regions listen to the most festive music.

Christmas music
Everyone loves good Christmas songs, but which parts of the world listen to them the most? Photo: Chaoss, Bigstock

As we approach the biggest holiday of the year, shopping centres, cafes and workplaces all begin to play Christmas music to get everyone in the mood. But just how many people choose to listen to it privately?

People might be surprised to know that Christmas pop songs are considered their own genre and are able to rake in a lot of money. On the popular music streaming service Spotify the 13 most popular Christmas tunes have generated a billion plays between them.

Spotify has released data that details the Christmas listening habits for 35 countries and every US state in 2016. This information gives some insight into how popular festive songs are in different geographic regions.

The data showed that the European countries of Norway and Sweden listened to festive music the most frequently of all with 1 in 6 of the songs streamed being classified as festive. In Brazil, a country with a reasonably large Christian population, only 1 song of 150 played was Christmas themed.

The factors causing this are said to be the number of daylight hours, weather and religious makeup of the country. Countries with less daylight hours and gloomier weather tended to listen to more Christmas songs.

In the United States this effect can also be seen. States with fewer daylight hours, especially those experiencing heavier snowfall were far more likely to regularly listen to Christmas music. There is also an increase in the playing of Christmas music the more religious a state is.

It is not surprising that weather and daylight hours affect the behaviour of consumers as it has been seen before in other industries. For example, people will buy more fruits and vegetables when they know a hurricane is coming.

In this case it appears that the more Christmas-like the weather and the more religious the area is, the more people will listen to Christmas music. Colder weather and overcast skies seem to put people in the festive mood.

It might be worth pointing out that as the climate in the northern hemisphere gets warmer, especially in the United States, there will be less snowfall. This may result in progressively less Christmas listening as the years go on.

The music industry would benefit from looking into this data so that they can modify their attention to Christmas pop music. Targeting some countries and regions with festive tunes may prove more effective than others.