Can you believe that this year is almost at a close? It still feels like yesterday that we were rocking out and ringing in the 2018 New Year. Needless to say, from a cultural standpoint, we saw A LOT happen over the last 12 months– the good, the bad, the sad, and the puzzling. At Pandora, we believe that music is at the core of everything we do, who we are, and what we experience. Simply said, the soundtrack to our lives.

To close out 2018, we decided to take a look at some major moments in time, and analyze how our listeners engaged with music tied to those cultural phenomena– from festivals and sporting events, to film and TV, untimely passing of a few greats, and everything else in between. Check out the data below, and we can’t wait to see you in 2019.

Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl – February 4

  • Stemming from her Monster commercial during the Super Bowl, Iggy Azalea’s station adds spiked almost 250% (week over week). She even beat out half time performer Justin Timberlake, who only had a 175% spike.
  • In the Philadelphia region, a number of Philly-native Meek Mill’s songs saw increased listening week-over-week following the Eagle’s Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots, including:
    • “Dreams and Nightmares” (+34%) serves as the walk out song for the Eagles
    • “House Party” (+34%)
    • “Traumatized” (+33%)
    • “Ima Boss” (+31%)
    • “Levels” (+31%)
    • “FYM” (+30%)
    • “Check” (+30%)
    • “Wins & Losses” (+28%)

This is Us “Jack” episode – February 4

  • Songs played in the episode:
    • “The Kids” (Super Bowl Sunday) by Siddhartha Khosla: the two days following the episode, the song spiked 1,300% in spins.
    • “Watch Me” by Grey Reverend: the two days following the episode, Grey Reverend had a 1,700% spike in artist station adds.

The Shape of Water wins Best Picture at the Oscars – March 4

  • The day after the Oscars, there was a 44% increase in listening hours to The Shape of Water film composer Alexandre Desplat’s stations compared to the average of the previous nine Mondays (same day of week).
  • While Coco’s “Remember Me” — performed by Miguel — won the Oscar, the most popular song in terms in track station adds in the month leading up to the show was “This Is Me,” performed by Keala Settle for The Greatest Showman.
  • In the month before the show, “This Is Me” saw the largest uptick in track station adds.
    • Second place: “Remember Me” by Miguel for Coco
    • Third place: Sufjan Stevens’ “Mystery of Love” from Call Me By Your Name
    • Fourth place: “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall
    • Fifth place: Mary J Blige’s “Mighty River” from Mudbound

International Women’s Day – March 8

  • Trending songs
    • Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)” saw a 382.5% lift in track station adds
    • Katy Perry’s “Roar” saw a 29% increase in track station adds.
    • Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” saw a 27.5% increase in track station adds.
  • Beyonce
    • 18% increase in track station adds.
    • 12% increase in artist station adds.
  • Blondie
    • 15% increase in track station adds.
    • 12% increase in artist station adds.
  • No Doubt
    • 50% increase in track station adds.
    • 20% increase in artist station adds.
  • Joan Jett
    • 22% increase in artist station adds.
  • Stevie Nicks
    • 16% increase in artist station adds.

Beychella – April 15 – April 21

  • Lemonade was the most spun Beyonce album throughout Coachella, with more than 3.5 million spins.
  • Second was 4, with more than 3.4 million spins.
  • Third place was Beyonce, with more than 2.2 million spins.

Desi Linden wins the Boston Marathon – April 16

  • Most-spun songs nationally on the day of the marathon that have some connection with the city of Boston include:
    • First place: “Boston” by Augustana
    • Second place: “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys
    • Third place: “Please Come to Boston” by Dave Loggins

Avicii passing – April 20

  • In the two days following his death, his artist station adds spiked 7,200%, and his streams spiked 443%.

Childish Gambino on SNL – May 6

  • In the two days following his appearance, his artist station adds spiked 740%.

Elon Musk + Grimes – May 7

  • The day following Elon Musk’s tweet about his favorite Grimes song (“Flesh without Blood” and “Kill V. Maim” on her Art Angels album):
    • Grimes had a 466% spike in artist station adds.
    • “Flesh without Blood” had a 500% spike in track station adds.

Bruce Springsteen plays song as protest – June 19

  • Bruce went off script to play his song “The Ghost of Tom Joad” during the performance of “Springsteen on Broadway” as a protest against Trump’s immigration policy of separating children from their detained parents.
    • His streams shot up 68%.

Release of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again movie – June 20

  • ABBA streams spiked 1,757%.

World Cup final game – June 14 – July 15

  • The most popular music of the World Cup 2018 included the official songs:
    • First place: J. Balvin & Michael Brun’s collaboration “Positivo,” which racked up 173K spins during the World Cup.
    • Second place: Jason Derulo’s “Colors,” which had 142 K spins during the World Cup.
    • Third place: Nicky Jam’s “Live It Up” with 56K spins during the World Cup.

Twitter releases blog post about fake followersJuly 11

  • Twitter details their new plan to rid the social media platform of fake followers.
    • Twitter’s #1 most followed account, Katy Perry, lost the most followers.
      • However, her streams shot up 200%.

France vs Croatia World Cup Match July 15

  • When Pussy Riot invaded the field to protest, the group’s artist station adds spiked 1,460%.

Michael Jackson: The Diamond Celebration release – July 20

  • The day after the release, Michael Jackson streams spiked 338%.

50th anniversary of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” – July 26

  • Paul McCartney’s streams spiked 8,000%.
  • The day Paul McCartney confirmed John Lennon broke up The Beatles on Howard Stern, Paul’s streams spiked 6,700% and John Lennon’s streams spiked 4,200%.

Aretha Franklin passing- August 16

  • In the week following:
    • Artist station adds spiked 2,966%
    • Track station adds spiked 675%
    • Streams spiked 1,455%
    • Thumbs up spiked 629%

Mac Miller passing – September 7

  • In the days following his death, there was a 9,552% increase in his artist station adds.

Halloween – October 31

  • Americans indulged in some spooky vibes by playing these top 5 most popular Halloween songs on repeat:
    • “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.
    • “Monster Mash” by Bobby Boris Pickett and the Crypt Kickers
    • “This Is Halloween” by Danny Elfman
    • “’The Munsters’ Theme” by Los Straitjackets
    • “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin Jay Hawkins

Midterm Elections – November 6

  • Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In the USA” saw a 686.95% increase in streams.
  • Alice Cooper’s “Elected” saw a 1,342.37% increase in streams.
  • Radiohead’s “Electioneering”  saw a 15.53% increase in streams.

Holidays – December 2018

  • “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey is the number one thumbed up seasonal song for all 50 states.