Spotify Rugby Musiek playlist surged this past Saturday

It turns out Mzansi wasn’t the only one who won when the Boks recently clashed with England in the semis, Spotify also had some joy. Specifically, when the Boks won against the English at the Rugby World Cup, on the music front, the Spotify playlist Rugby Musiek’s streams surged by 191%.

The surge was not just limited to the Rugby Musiek playlist, searches for ‘rugby’ increased by 210% that same day in South Africa, and it seems the excitement was not just contained to the rainbow nation – globally, there was an increase of 82% for ‘rugby’ on Spotify.

The Rugby-focused playlist Rugby Musiek consists of new and well-known Rugby-themed and patriotic songs such as Nkalakatha by MandozaSiya Kolisi by Robbie Wessels, and Saam Suid-Afrika by prominent Afrikaans musician Anlia Star (wife to Eben Etzebeth, the team’s lock) alongside fellow artists Robbie Wessels and Karlien Van Jaarsveld. The latter covers the playlist.   

Since its launch, the playlist has seen more males, at 68%, leaning towards it than females. The data is not far off from the norm witnessed at stadiums during the Currie Cup, the domestic rugby union competition where most of the fandom is often male. 

“Sport unites people, and by the same token, music is universal. The Rugby Musiek playlist captures the spirit of unity, and this is possibly why South Africans turned to it to celebrate this win”, says Henco Harmse, Spotify’s Afrikaans Specialist Manager, Artist & Label Partnerships in South Africa. 

From an age group perspective, 35-55+ year olds who likely watched the 2019 Rugby World Cup excitedly as the  Springboks took home the cup, are in the top three age groups streaming the playlist. 35-44 lead the pack at 28% followed by 45-54 at 19% then 30-34 and 55+ at 14% respectively. 

“Post-streaming music, and culture at large crossed borders across the world with playlists as one of the conduits facilitating discovery on-platform”, he says.

Popular Afrikaans music artist Riaan Benadé leads the all-time streams in South Africa and makes an appearance on the global all-time streams. On the South African front, two of his songs, Spontaan and Vat ‘n Bietjie are at number one and three. American band TOTO’s Africa,  Irene-Louise Van Wyk’s Tekkies Brand, and Elandré’s Vuur Op Die Water round up the top five. Globally,  TOTO’s Africa is on the top of the top five list with Right Said Fred’s You’re My Mate and Stand Up for the Champions right behind followed by Riaan Benadé’s aforementioned songs.