The Country in Spotify

Times are changing, and the way we listen to music is changing too. In 2001, Steve Jobs changed the way we listened to music through his new media player and library called “iTunes” on the new iPod invented. iTunes has been an excellent way for artists to publish their music and become known.

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However, by 2008 Daniel Ek changed the game and came out with Spotify, a music library which enables users to stream music instead of downloading it first. A lot of people adore Spotify because it resembles a social media in that it lets its users follow other users, their playlists, and albums and hit singles of famous artists as well

Every genre of music has multiple playlists available to them, and one of the most popular, loved and favored is Country.


Generations and generations of country music are now available for all to hear. From the ageless, remarkable baritone voice of Johnny Cash, to the prominent ‘King of Country’, George Strait, and all the way to the youngest Grand Ole Opry inductee, Carrie Underwood, Spotify is teeming with some deep rooted and pop cultured country music.

It’s intriguing to note the differences in the sounds of country throughout the ages. The wide range of country artists displayed show the progressions of country music from past to present. Country stars, such as Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, and Dolly Parton denote the twangy, original country music of the past, while Chris Janson, Thomas Rhett, and Jana Kramer are examples of newer artists that depict the more hip hop gravitated style of country. Although time begets change in popular music, Spotify has made the popular music of the past easily attainable.


The overabundance of country playlists can be overwhelming, but it’s engrossing to discover which songs belong in the most followed playlists. Take the playlist ‘Hot Country’ for example, with almost 2 million followers. It is easy to determine who the most prominent country artists of today’s pop culture are.

It’s a no brainer that Luke Bryan, George Strait, Carrie Underwood, and Tim McGraw have a couple of songs on this playlist. However, many of the artists listed were unfamiliar to me and had songs that drifted toward the newer and more pop sound of bro-country. Bro-country seems to be the more contagious and more prominent type of country listened to in today’s world. There must be something appealing about the combination of rock, hip-hop, and country music.


For other playlists, it really depends on the mood you’re in. Are you looking for some tunes to jam to at a tailgate? Listen to ‘Chillin’ on a Dirt Road’ that has upbeat songs like, ‘Somebody Like You’ by Keith Urban, or ‘Honey Bee’ by Blake Shelton.

Or possibly you’re into a serious and calm mood and just want to listen to soft country. Maybe the “Country Coffeehouse’ with songs like ‘Before These Walls Were Blue’ by Wade Bowen or ‘A Woman Like You’ by Lee Brice would be a better fit.

Maybe if you want to get crazy, you can even listen to ‘Canadian Country’! But why waste your time when you can listen to some good ol’ American country.


With the improvement of technology through the years, country music has been able to reach out to more of its fans and keep them well entertained. Pits and peaks of different subgenres in country music will continue to oscillate as time moves forward. But I wonder with more advancements to come, will country songs and artists of the past be infused and combined with country music in the future?


Filed under Austin, Blog Post 3

7 Responses to The Country in Spotify

  1. Kaki Miller

    Abby, this was a great post! I hadn’t really thought about the transition from iTunes to Spotify and its undeniable effect on country music. I remember being in 3rd grade and begging my mom to buy one song on iTunes. At the time they were 99 cents. But then the price hiked up to $1.29 a song, and I remember it being the biggest deal. Now though, I have a Spotify account where I pay about $7-$10 a month for unlimited access to music. My number one go to playlist is hot country, and I agree that there are definitely some well-known songs from the artists that you mentioned. There are some random ones though. But it is a great deal to have so much music at my fingertips all the time!

  2. Sierra Smith

    Abby, your post was interesting to read about! I use Spotify all the time so your title really intrigued me. Unfortunately, I don’t have many country songs on my Spotify playlists, but it was interesting to find out just how many options I have to put some new songs on there. I think you make a great point how Spotify makes it easier for people to access country music from the past as well as from more recent times. Its harder to find older songs nowadays, and its great that Spotify can allow you to access these quicker. For this reason, and many others, I believe Spotify proves to be better than iTunes. With iTunes, it was always a pain because you would have to purchase the song first in order to listen to it fully. Now with Spotify, you dont have to pay to listen to the music! You can search the artist you want to hear or just a genre of music and up comes a whole list for you to explore. What I think is great about this as well is that it suggests similar artists that you might enjoy based off of what type of music you are looking up.

  3. Kelby Floerke

    Abby- this was a great post. I love spotify! I can’t name the last time I bought a song on iTunes. I look back and think it is crazy that my mom let me and my brother buy any song we wanted for $1. I download so many songs on spotify, I cannot imagine using iTunes anymore. I have even gotten my parents hooked on it. I need to figure out my playlists and make better ones so others can enjoy the music I listen to. I always listen to my brothers and I know he would want to listen to mine!

  4. Talia

    As someone who has not used Spotify I can’t say too much about it but I do use the new Apple Music. I’m currently using their free trial and I’m obsessed but as my trial is about to end and I’m not sure my mom will be too fond of me spending $10 a month on music when I am a poor college student I am looking into other options. Its so funny now to look back in time to myself when I was on our families old shared house computer using Limewire to illegally download songs to then make CD’s of or eventually to put on my little blue off brand MP3 player(I never had an iPod). Like you said I can only imagine what is next in the worlds of music and technology. I mean we have seen all of this in only about twenty years. By the time we are fifty who knows how we will be listening to music…

  5. John Monroe

    Abby, I thought you piece on Country music on spotify was interesting because I have had a much different experience. I love spotify because it has allowed me to expand my musical horizons into new genres like blues and old hip hop but I have always felt that its country music was lacking. In my opinion the playlists are one of the most important things that spotify can have because with so much music there really needs to be good discovery tools, and in the case of country I am yet to find a playlist that I like and it’s not for lack of trying. I definitely would like to hear what some of your favorite country playlists on the site are.

  6. Elissa Killebrew

    This is a really good idea for a post! I have a love/hate relationship with Spotify (mostly love though!). Ever since Taylor Swift made a huge deal about taking down all of her songs off Spotify, I started getting really concerned about the rest of the music industry. It has probably been a year since I’ve bought a song off iTunes simply because Spotify is way more convenient for me (and free). So after the whole T-Swift thing, I’m nervous more artists will start following in her footsteps and we’ll have to go back to buying songs off iTunes again. I can see that Spotify is preventing artists and writers from profiting off songs. But is turning away from Spotify the right move or will this anger the fans? Regardless, all I want is to be able to download Garth Brooks songs on my phone but unfortunately, the only way I can do that is to find his album because he’s not on Spotify or iTunes. Hopefully modern-day artists WON’T follow his lead on this one.

  7. Tyler Dial

    Abby, I saw your post and knew I had to read it. I love using spotify to find new country acts and I often make my own spotify playlists. Personally, I think spotify is a great medium for lesser-known musicians to be heard. Public playlists on spotify are great at promoting new artists. There are many big name artists who aren’t on spotify and I think that is an important point to touch on. Artists like Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, and Jason Aldean aren’t on spotify because they don’t believe their songwriters will get paid enough. Over the last ten years, Nashville’s songwriter population has taken a massive hit. A solution must be found soon.

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