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Trigger Cities Are Emerging Music Hotspots

Trigger cities are replacing conventional hotspots for music streaming and marketing.

Culture Compass
Culture Compass
GenderMale, Female, Others
Age BracketAll ages
GeographyAsia, South America

Global music industry has always been hegemonized by the United States and UK, occasionally extending to parts of Europe. Among these, some key cities include New York City, London, Nashville and Los Angeles. However, the dynamic nature of music influence and development of a variety of streaming platforms has lead to the rise of a new revolutionary music marketing trend – Trigger Cities. Trigger cities are those metropolitan cities outside of top global markets where users can and do latch onto songs early and trigger algorithms on platforms like Spotify and Youtube to give them global momentum. These cities include Latin American and Southeast Asia, including Mexico City, Bangkok and Indian cities like Lucknow, Pune and Delhi. Trigger cities are better known in recent times for “Changing music winds” by making artists go global by changing the promotional center of gravity for music.

Due to social media, the borders have vanished as the world becomes a united global music platform. The volatile and viral social media markets help new music explode and reach global music enthusiasts. Pointing out whole marketing budgets to the pre-dominant global music locations, only because of high Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) might come out as a limited escalation while dilution of budgets towards trigger cities might work wonders.

Trigger cities in Latin American and South/Southeast Asian tend to engage with new or emerging artists more rapidly, irrespective of an artist’s home market. Substantial engagement in a trigger city would often be followed by rapid engagement in other such cities, eventually including the artist’s home market. Also considering the streaming number counts, it would be shocking that 7 out of the top 20 trigger cities for Youtube are Indian. Thus, diverging the music budgets towards Indian cities such as Ahmedabad, Pune and Delhi will not only get the most plays but will also make the entire model cost-effective. This will eventually create buzz and influence, thus triggering the popularity of the individual. One classic example is US singer-songwriter Lauv’s track “I like me better” hitting playlists in Malaysia, Brazil and the Philippines, making the way for its global success.

References – Music Ally, Chartmetric and Hypebot

Culture Compass
Trigger cities might come out as a simplified route to international success for good music artists. Though not suitable for established artists, beginners might benefit due to high end demand of new music in trigger cities. Unlike the old music business, just a hit can start off the progress on streaming platforms, thus creating establishment of new trendsetting cities. Further, future may behold trigger cities to become sub-trend hotspots for Indie, Jazz, Rock, classical and many others to go.


  • Popularity 6.0
  • Inventiveness 5.0
  • Engagement 6.0
  • Human Centricity 4.0

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