Dydd Miwsig Cymru: Is online streaming helping Welsh language music thrive?

"People really are growing to love Welsh language music", says Gwenllian Anthony of the band Adwaith, meaning 'reaction'.

"It's amazing to see because it's been a struggle over the last few decades for Welsh language music artists to get gigs or any sort of publicity outside Wales".

The internet has played a big part.

Where once bands and artists would have had to convince individual record labels and shops in London or elsewhere to book them or stock their music in order to have it heard outside its home country.

These days, if a band or artist can convince an online streaming services like Spotify or Apple music to feature their music on a worldwide playlist, their songs can suddenly fly around the world - instantly.

You can watch Hamish Auskerry's report below.

There is not a centrally logged way of monitoring how many times Welsh language songs are being played around the world online, but there are strong indications that the numbers are big.

Adwaith's single Fel i Fod has been streamed nearly three quarters of a million times alone.

Watch the full interview with Adwaith here:

Cardiff-based label support and distribution company PYST help bands get on these online platforms. In the two years since they set up, they have mostly supported Welsh language bands and artists. In that time, acts they've helped alone have been streamed more than 17 million times.

"Digital sales and streaming is a fraction of what it was in the golden age of cd sales or vinyl", PYST Co-Founder Kev Tame says, "but what it does do is give a global reach for music or artists that maybe would struggle to reach certain audiences beyond the traditional London music industry".

Other bands registered to labels outside of Wales, like Gruff Rhys and Gwenno, have been streamed on a grand scale in addition to those numbers.

Welsh rock band Super Furry Animals Credit: PA Images

Today is Welsh Language Music Day, the annual event celebrating all forms and genres of music sung and performed in Welsh.

The scene has been benefitted from the success of artists like the Super Furry Animals who once released an album exclusively sung in Welsh.

The closure of many popular music venues, like The Parrot in Carmarthen and Gwdihw and Ten Feet Tall in Cardiff - amongst many others, is a cause for concern.

Without small venues, young bands find it more difficult to learn their trade and develop their style. But when artists manage to break through that barrier, huge success can follow.

Credit: ITV News

"When we play outside of Wales we get such a good reaction to the fact we sing in Welsh", Gwenllian says. "We've had people say that they want to learn Welsh because they've seen us or heard our music and it's inspired them to learn welsh which is amazing".

On Welsh Language Music Day, Adwaith will play a free gig outside Liverpool's iconic Cunard building in the Pier Head from 1pm.

In Conwy, Welsh language singer Casi will be performing in the UK's smallest house in Conwy, north Wales, available to the public to attend for free from 11.30am until 3.30pm.

And in Cardiff, Welsh language acts Al Lewis and HANA2K will be performing several sets each between 11.30 and 15.00 at St David's 2 shopping centre in Cardiff, available to the public to attend for free.

With the day part of the long-term vision to see a million people speaking and using Welsh by 2050, Welsh language music is being hailed as a great resource for learners of the language, by using song lyrics to add to their vocabulary.

"In a Welsh language school it wasn't really a cool thing, being in a Welsh music band", says Hollie Singer, who does vocals and guitar for Adwaith.

"I feel like we got people making fun of us at some points saying 'ah you're in a Welsh band', but hopefully with the Welsh music scene, with all the different genres it's got can really promote that it's cool."