Interesting despite the war, Russians remain BIG, BIG fans of Ukrainian music

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Viberate, a company based in London and the Baltics, spends all its time tracking the popularity of artists and songs on all platforms around the world. After Russia invaded Ukraine, the folks at Viberate thought they would dig into how it affected the music exchange between the two countries. The results are… surprising.

It turns out that the biggest audience for Ukrainian music is not in Ukraine. It’s in Russia.

On YouTube, 41% of all monthly views of material by Ukrainian artists come from their compatriots. Russian music fans contribute 40% of all views. With Spotify, Russian fans listen to Ukrainian music from 26% to 7%.

Meanwhile, Russian fans spend 45% of their time watching Russian artists on YouTube. The Ukrainian share is 14%. With Spotify, the split is 27% Russian and only 2% Ukrainian.

However, Russian artists have seen an almost 20% drop in YouTube views since the war began. The Ukrainian figures are about the same. But if we look at Spotify, the streams of Russian and Ukrainian artists have doubled compared to 2021.

Ukrainians obviously have more on their minds than YouTube and Spotify these days, with 9.5 million people – 21.5% of the country’s total population – being displaced in one way or another. And when there is war, there are bound to be boycotts. Yet, as Viberate points out, “the ties to music go deeper than politics.”

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