New Research Names Olivia Rodrigo And BTS The Most Popular Study Music

Teenage boy wearing headphones works at desk in his bedroom

Research from EdBbirdie using Spotify data has identified the most popular songs to study to.

After analysing thousands of studying and homework playlists on Spotify, American singer Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ came out as top song to study to.

It featured on 48 study playlists, while other top songs included ‘Ophelia’ by The Lumineers, ‘Falling’ by Harry Styles and ‘Ribs’ by Lorde.

The world’s favourite popular studying hits: 

RankTitleArtistPlaylists featured in 
1drivers licenseOlivia Rodrigo48
3OpheliaThe Lumineers34
4FallingHarry Styles32
5Before You GoLewis Capaldi30
6CirclesPost Malone30
7lovely (with Khalid)Billie Eilish29
9This TownNiall Horan28
10505Arctic Monkeys28


Looking at the most popular study artists, though, brings a different story.

South-Korean band BTS came out on top, featuring on 905 study playlists. In a slight contrast, second place went to German film score composer Hans Zimmer, who featured on 539 playlists.

Also on the list were Mozart (for those really committed to concentration) and John Williams, who created the scores to Harry Potter and Star Wars, for anyone who wants to pretend they’re in the Death Star while doing admin.

For the more pop-inclined, Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande also featured.

The world’s favourite popular studying artists: 

RankArtistNumber of Playlists
2Hans Zimmer539
3Taylor Swift403
4Billie Eilish348
5Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart307
6Ed Sheeran287
7John Williams285
8Harry Styles283
9Thomas Newman269
10Ariana Grande253


According to the research, which analysed 100,000 songs, the average BPM was 112.

Avery Morgan, chief communications officer at EduBirdie said of the research, “music can be very beneficial for studying, as it allows students to create the right mood, relax and destress, improve focus and reduce boredom over long study sessions. In fact, listening to Mozart has even been suggested to help memorisation.”

“The general wisdom is that the best songs for concentrating are atmospheric, ambient sounds. Therefore, it’s no surprise to see lo-fi beats come out on top as the world’s favourite studying songs. On the other hand, some students seem to be able to remain focused listening to popular artists such as Olivia Rodrigo, BTS and Taylor Swift, whilst others may prefer to work in silence to avoid any distractions.

“Although every student’s preferences are unique, we would recommend listening to songs without lyrics which allow you to focus on the task at hand, whilst blocking out any external distractions. The key is background music, keeping the volume at a low level and choosing songs which you don’t have strong feelings about, in order to stay focused and productive during study sessions.”

Featured Image: iStock/monkeybusinessimages

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