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Surprise, surprise
November 30, 2017

When the weather outside is frightful, you're likely to find Christmas music so delightful.

That's the upshot of this analysis from The Economist, which analyzed data from Spotify and found that factors like weather, geographic location, and amount of sunlight affect how much people listen to Christmas music. Indeed, you're more likely to listen to Christmas music during Christmas season when it feels like winter.

The Economist studied the listening habits from Spotify users in 35 countries and in all 50 American states. In the U.S., states with higher levels of religiosity were more likely to listen to Christmas music. But this was not applicable globally. The Economist notes that although Brazil has similar levels of religiosity as Norway and Sweden, only one in 150 listens around holiday time last year in the notably warm country of Brazil was Christmas-themed, while one in six listens in cold Scandinavian countries during December 2016 were Christmas songs.

What really stimulated people's interest in Christmas music was their physical surroundings. Christmas music streaming increased 1.5 percent in the United States for every extra hour of darkness, and increased by 2 percent when it snowed. In 25 countries in the northern hemisphere, the influence of darkness was even more pronounced, as it increased streaming of Christmas music by 3 percent.

While The Economist notes that these changes in weather and environment may just make people more likely to seek out any type of music, they do offer the amusingly striking fact that if America had 20 fewer snow days in the last two months of the year, Mariah Carey would lose about $10,000 in royalties for "All I Want for Christmas Is You." Read the full report at The Economist. Kelly O'Meara Morales

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