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Spotify K-Pop ON! Singles throw it back with ‘My First K-Pop Crush’ theme, bridging new acts with old faves

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — K-Pop has undeniably cemented its status as a global phenomenon, with leading audio platform Spotify at the forefront of driving the genre, empowering artists to connect with a global audience and scaling their music across borders. Spotify’s flagship playlist for the genre, K-Pop ON! (온), has become a key destination for those new to the genre and veteran superfans alike, helping them discover new music while keeping up to date with K-Pop’s very best.

This year, Spotify commemorates a decade of the flagship playlist bringing K-Pop to the world and launched the first-ever Spotify K-Pop ON! (온) Singles. Headlined by artists ENHYPEN, SHOWNU X HYUNGWON (of MONSTA X), and STAYC, this milestone initiative was centered around the theme of “My First K-Pop Crush” and featured covers of songs by the sunbaes (industry seniors) who first sparked each band’s love of K-Pop. Much more than a nod to the very beginnings of every fan’s journey into the genre, the campaign was also a celebration of K-Pop across generations.

These Spotify Singles not only sparked enthusiasm among fans, but also rekindled appreciation for the iconic original tracks while continuing to spread the genre’s influence worldwide, even spanning beyond Asia and the US. To date, ENHYPEN’s cover of BTS’ “I NEED U,” SHOWNU X HYUNGWON’s rendition of 2PM’s “I Hate You” and STAYC’s version of TWICE’s “Fancy” have collectively amassed more than 35 million streams.

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Spotify ( My First Crush )

Following the release of the Spotify K-Pop ON! (온) Singles, the performing artists saw notable uplifts in Spotify streams on a global scale – underscoring the power of the Spotify Singles program in providing artists with opportunities to build and deepen connections with fans as they bring listeners fresh content.

In the week following the releases of the covers by ENHYPEN and STAYC, the groups’ overall Spotify streams saw a week-on-week increase of close to 25% and 40% respectively. Most notably, in just a week following the release of SHOWNU X HYUNGWON’s cover of “I Hate You,” the duo saw a staggering 490% increase in global streams and a 20-fold increase in Spotify streams in the Philippines.

Igniting the rediscovery of iconic tracks

Spotify ( My First Crush )

As ENHYPEN, SHOWNU X HYUNGWON, and STAYC gave fans a glimpse into their beginnings with K-Pop through their Spotify K-Pop ON! (온) Singles, their covers also reignited interest in the iconic original tracks – particularly those from earlier generations.

Highlighting the timeless appeal that music can have and the power of covers in bringing past hits back into the spotlight, SHOWNU X HYUNGWON’s rendition of “I Hate You” resulted in an uplift of more than 35% in Spotify streams for the original 2009 hit, in the week following the launch of the Spotify K-Pop ON! (온) Single. Spotify streams for BTS’ 2015 “I Need U” also grew in the week following the release of ENHYPEN’s version of the song, tracking a 135% increase.

Driving K-Pop beyond Asia and the US

Spotify ( My First Crush )

K-Pop has proven that music from anywhere in the world can transcend language and cultural barriers. Once again demonstrating the global appeal of the genre, markets beyond the US and Asia ranked amongst the top countries rediscovering the original versions of the Spotify K-Pop ON! (온) Singles.

In the week following the release of ENHYPEN’s cover, Brazil and Turkey were amongst the top markets that saw the highest percentage increase in streams for “I Need U” by BTS. Meanwhile Mexico, Canada and Brazil ranked amongst the top 10 markets rediscovering “I Hate You” by 2PM following the release of SHOWNU X HYUNGWON’s rendition of the track.    

A week after STAYC released their cover of TWICE’s “Fancy,” markets including Egypt, New Zealand, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Portugal, and Belgium saw the highest spikes in streams.

“We’re thrilled to witness how listeners worldwide have supported our first-ever Spotify K-Pop ON! (온) Singles,” shared Jungjoo Park, Head of Music Korea at Spotify. “At Spotify, our dedication to helping music travel the globe goes beyond showcasing talent. In addition to driving the growth of K-Pop by fueling music discovery, we’re also committed to helping artists foster deeper connections with fans and new listeners to build the appreciation of the genre.”

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