Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

The Crossover Effect: Artist Collaborations Thrive on Spotify


The crossover collaboration is one of music's great traditions. When artists from different genres, regions, or simply different career stages bring their talents together on a track, it's sure to capture fan attention. It can even breathe new life into a song or group.

When Run-D.M.C. linked up with Aerosmith in the '80s to reimagine the latter's single Walk This Way, it resulted in an international smash hit. It also helped birth the rap rock subgenre and still stands as Run-D.M.C.'s biggest hit. Decades after its release, the song has racked up hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify to date.

More recently, we've seen major crossover collaboration moments from the likes of SZA and Phoebe Bridgers on Ghost in the Machine, PinkPantheress and Ice Spice on Boy's a Liar Pt. 2, and Taylor Swift and The National on The Alcott.

While these collaborations offer new avenues for creative exploration, they also bring together each artist's distinct fan bases, providing an opportunity for everyone involved to expand their audiences.

I think one of the biggest things is how music collaborations can connect genres, explains John Stein, Spotify's North America Head of Editorial. We see a lot more of these collaborations, and I think each artist's core audience seems to be more open to these moments than in the past.

It's easy to see why artists love this approach, but how do fans respond? Are they listening more on Spotify when they discover a new artist on one of these songs?

We took a look at more than 40 of the biggest crossover collaborations from the last 12 years and found that six months after the collab was released, 75% of artists involved saw an increase of at least 10% in overall Spotify streams across their catalogs compared to the six months prior. More than 50% of those same artists saw their number of streams grow by at least 50% in that same time period, while 30% saw their number of streams rise by at least 100%.

And while many of these collaborations are well received, some of them have been very well received.

There are few examples that paint this picture more clearly than Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus uniting on Old Town Road Remix. In the six months following the song's release, the increase in shared listeners between the two artists skyrocketed by nearly 390,000%.

For further proof, you can also look back to 2017, when Latin music icon Luis Fonsi joined forces with reggaeton godfather Daddy Yankee on Despacito. The song quickly caught on with fans around the world, but its popularity went into overdrive and the song became an inescapable tour de force when Justin Bieber hopped on the Despacito (Remix) three months later.

Luis in particular saw his fame reach unforeseen heights, and in the six months following the release of the original version, streams of Luis Fonsi on Spotify jumped by more than 2,600% (compared to the six months prior).

But it was the remix, specifically, that helped to expand the Puerto Rican singer's reach in English-speaking markets. Spotify streams of Luis Fonsi in the U.S., U.K., and Canada combined spiked by more than 4,300% in the six months following the release of Despacito, with most of that increase coming after the remix dropped.

When the Despacito' remix came out, it felt like a huge and rare moment to have artists from such different backgrounds and genre spaces collaborate and experience such success, John says. Now it feels like it happens all the time, and there's almost a level of expectation that artists are going to mix it up and work with artists from different spaces. And I think we see that reflected in the data on the platform and in the reaction on our playlists.

Such is the case with Nigerian afropop star Rema and American pop star Selena Gomez, who created a cross-continental connection on the 2022 hit Calm Down.

When Rema dropped the solo version of Calm Down' last year, it was doing really well in terms of streams, especially in Africa, John explains. Then, at the exact right moment, Rema teamed up with Selena Gomez on a new version of the track.

In the six months following the collaboration's release, daily Spotify streams of Rema in North America increased by more than 230% compared to the six months prior. Meanwhile, daily Spotify streams of Selena Gomez in sub-Saharan Africa increased by more than 120% in that same time period.

With Selena being such a big pop star globally, I think the song reached an audience that checked it out to see what Selena was doing, John says. But they kept coming back because it was such a good song.

And much like Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, the respective fan bases of Rema and Selena Gomez started to merge together. In the six months following the release of Calm Down, the number of fans who listened to both artists increased by over 600%.

A springboard to success For emerging artists, the crossover effect can help them break through in previously untapped markets, or help them define their musical identity on their own terms.

When Khalid had his breakthrough moment with his 2016 hit single Location, he was often labeled as an R&B artist. But after his 2017 collaboration with Alina Baraz-an artist who floats between the lines of pop, R&B, and electronic-on Electric, Khalid flashed his potential to be a pop star in the broadest possible sense.

And, like Luis Fonsi, Khalid is another artist who benefitted from the crossover effect. Following the release of Electric, streams of Khalid on Spotify spiked by more than 3,100% in the six months following its release (compared to the prior six months).

Building on the momentum of Electric, Khalid showcased his versatility as he hopped between genres on a number of high-profile collaborations. At every turn, th
See more stories from spotify

More from Spotify


From Heathrow to Heartstopper,' GLOW Artist Baby Queen is on a Musical Journey All Her Own

Bella Latham has long believed in her songwriting and composing abilities-even w...


Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month on Spotify With Our Estamos Ready' Campaign

Latinx culture continues to set the tone around the world, as evidenced by the rise of genres like M sica Mexicana, corridos, and urbano. September 15 through O...


Dive Into Screaming Creativity,' a New Podcast Hosted by WPP's Chief Creative Officer, Rob Reilly

What does it mean to be creative and who determines what creativity is? In Screa...


Binge Season 2 of the Chart-Topping Spotify Original Podcast, Case 63' Beginning September 26

If you can't stay away from a good mind-bending time travel paradox, look no...


Spotify Rocks the Weekend With the Festival EQUAL in Buenos Aires

Last week in Argentina, artists, podcasters, fans, and industry luminaries came together for Spotify's highly anticipated Festival EQUAL to celebrate the cr...


Spotify rockea el fin de semana con el Festival EQUAL en Buenos Aires

En Argentina la semana pasada se reunieron artistas, podcasters, fan ticos y luminarias de la industria en el muy esperado Festival EQUAL de Spotify para celebr...


Holding Apple Accountable: The Future of the Internet Economy Depends On It

Dustee Jenkins Chief Public Affairs Officer, Spotify Five years ago, I sat in a conference room with key members of our legal team, several antitrust experts a...


How Music Helps Black Queer Artists and Industry Creatives Tell Their Stories

Photo credit: Jonathan Parham In the vibrant tapestry of human expression and experience, music has always been a powerful medium for storytelling, and one wit...


Scores, Songs, and Supper Served at Our Spotify Supper in London

Good food, good conversation, and amazing music. Is there anything better? That's what was served up last week in London at our annual Spotify Supper, whic...


Spotify rinde homenaje a Shakira, embajadora global de EQUAL, con un da especial dedicado a su trayectoria musical

Como cono de la m sica latina a nivel internacional, Shakira ha brindado a sus ...


What Gen Z Listeners Are Streaming in Pakistan

Since Spotify's launch in Pakistan in 2021, the platform has become a destination for younger generations to make their voices heard by powering unprecedent...


Spotify Honors EQUAL Global Ambassador Shakira With a Special Day Dedicated to Her Enduring Legacy

Standing tall on the global stage as a beacon of Latin music and representation,...


Get Fresh Music Sunup to Sundown With daylist, Your Ever-Changing Spotify Playlist

Throughout the day, your mood changes, and so does the music you listen to. Last...


Rema's Calm Down Becomes the First Track Led by an African Artist to Join Spotify's Billions Club

Rema, one of Nigeria's fastest-rising stars, is joining the Billions Club on...


Spotify and CFDA Get New York Fashion Week Started With Its First-Ever Official Playlist

It's fashion week in New York, and to kick things off we've partnered wi...


Spotify's Soundtrack Behind The Runway Celebrates Fall Fashion Week With Inspiring Designers From New York, London, Milan, and Paris

It takes more than a little confidence to strut down a runway. It also requires ...


Spotify and American Express Get Ready for GUTS' With an Olivia Rodrigo Pop-Up in New York

From the moment Olivia Rodrigo's second album, GUTS, was announced in June, ...


Frana e o Labirinto' estreia como a primeira audiossrie com roteiro original do Spotify produzida no Brasil

Os f s do Spotify no Brasil adoram uma boa hist ria em udio com roteiro, como e...


Frana e o Labirinto' Launches as the First Brazilian-Produced Spotify Original Scripted Audio Series

Spotify fans in Brazil love a good scripted audio story, as evidenced by the pop...


Here's All the Artists, Creators, and Athletes You Can Blend with on Spotify

In 2021, Spotify took bonding over music to the next level with Blend, our shared social listening experience that combines the different tastes of friends and ...


Spotify Celebra el Pasado y el Presente de los Corridos con La Tierra del Corrido

Entre los innumerables xitos y canciones favoritas de los aficionados a la M si...


Spotify Celebrates the Past and Present of Corridos With La Tierra del Corrido'

Among the countless hits and fan favorites under the M sica Mexicana umbrella, n...


Judeline Puts Her Own Spin on Two Favorites as the First Spotify Singles From Spain

Judeline is ready to give fans new twists on La Tortura by Shakira (featuring ...


See if You've Got What It Takes To Be a Spotify Star

On Spotify's Community Support forum, users can find answers to their toughest Spotify questions. These days, we aim for 90% of new help topics to receive a...


Spotify's Sizzling 2023 Songs of Summer Are Here

We've been waiting all summer, speculating and ruminating on what hot tracks would rise to the top as the songs of the summer. And now we have our answers f...


Las canciones de verano ms hot de 2023 de Spotify estn aqu

Hemos estado esperando todo el verano, especulando y reflexionando sobre qu canciones llegar an al top como las canciones del verano. Y ahora tenemos las respu...


Spotify's Podcasting Leaders Share Their Top 6 Takeaways From Podcast Movement

As podcast listenership has grown, a global community of creators has risen to m...


Take Action Against Harassment at Concerts With Spotify and Calling All Crows

For some, attending a show means belting out your favorite lyrics alongside other screaming fans. For others, it's grooving to the beat of a funky melody. A...


Seleo Brasileira de Breaking se prepara para uma Nova Batalha de Dana

Ritmos incr veis, footwork sofisticado, dan arinos talentosos, batalhas de tirar o f lego tudo isso comp e o Breaking, uma forma de dan a que combina moviment...


Brazil's National Breaking Team Prepares for a New Dance Battle

Incredible rhythms, fancy footwork, talented dancers, heart-pumping battles-all this makes up breaking, a form of dancing that combines complex moves with styli...


bummer summer Is Spotify's New Playlist for Gen Z Listeners To Tap Into Their Feels

Lana Del Rey's Summertime Sadness stuck in your head? You're not alone...


Tech Creator iJustine Shares Her Favorite Ways To Dig Deeper Into Her Latest Obsessions

You may have noticed that we're into helping our listeners find something ne...


RADAR Artist Rene Rapp Dives Headfirst Into Her Music Career With a New Single, Album, and Tour

Fans may already know 23-year-old Rene Rapp from her theater and television car...


Spotify's 100 Live Showcase at Way Out West Celebrates the Impact of Hip-Hop in Sweden

Since 2007, the Way Out West music festival has been a cultural melting pot in S...


The Giants of Africa Festival Inspires African Youth to Dream Big' Through Basketball, Culture, and Music

As one of the fastest-growing music markets in the world, Africa is home to dyna...


Mexican LGBTQIA+ Musicians Come Together for the First Latin American Spotify Single Made Entirely by Women

The latest Spotify Single from Latin America is a totally women-powered anthem. ...


Celebrate Band Shirt Day With Your Favorite Artists, Including Portugal. The Man

There's no better way to display that you're a loud and proud fan of a band than with an iconic T-shirt. The item may be a brand-new tank from the artis...


Quase um quarto de todos os streams no Spotify so para o Hip Hop. Os editores globais do Spotify refletem sobre o crescimento do gnero

Quando o Hip Hop completa 50 anos, f s de todo o mundo comemoram suas bodas de o...


Nearly a Quarter of All Streams on Spotify Are Hip-Hop. Spotify's Global Editors Reflect on the Genre's Growth

As hip-hop turns 50, fans around the world are celebrating its golden anniversar...


Connect Patreon to Spotify and Stream Your Favorite Podcasts in One Place

You can't get enough of your favorite podcasts-and your favorite creators can't get enough of your listening, either. Many podcasters have turned to Pat...


Playlist creme', do Spotify, ganha vida com uma exibio de arte interativa dedicada ao Trap e Funk brasileiro

Com os artistas de trap dominando o charts em todo o mundo, a cena urbana brasil...


Spotify's creme Playlist Comes to Life With an Interactive Art Exhibit Dedicated to Brazilian Trap and Funk

As trap artists dominate the charts all over the world, Brazil's urbano scen...


Spotify Expands DJ to Now Be Available in 50 Markets Around the World. Here's How To Find It

In February, Spotify debuted DJ in beta. DJ is a personalized AI guide that know...


Five Spelman College NextGen Scholarship Recipients Are Rising to the Top

At Spotify, we are empowering and amplifying the voices of underrepresented creators. To do that, we must carve out spaces for new stories and perspectives to b...


P!nk Takes the Helm as This Month's EQUAL Global Artist

With more than 20 years in music, P!nk has cemented herself as a powerful force. She racked up so many top singles that she filled a greatest hits album just 10...


Broadcasting Desi Music to New Homes Around the World

Bollywood dance music, chill Sufi songs, hot Punjabi hits-all of these sounds make up the diverse and varied world of Desi music. They also represent artists an...


Netflix Hit Heartstopper' Showcases Several LGBTQIA+ Artists in Its Official Playlist for Season 2

In 2022 Netflix released Heartstopper, a British television series that follows ...


Celebrate the Sights and Sounds From an Unforgettable FC Barcelona US Preseason Tour

Earlier this month, FC Barcelona landed in the U.S. to kick off their preseason ...