Music History

Spotify Has Opened Up Its Data Sluice to Everyone

One of the cool things about Spotify is how it collects all kinds of Big Data to determine who is listening to what, when and where. When I had a chance to talk to Terry McBride of Nettwerk Records last month, he couldn’t rave enough about how useful this data was.

“I can now tell exactly where my artists’ songs are popping. The granularity of this data allows Nettwerk to make super-smart decisions on where to focus our marketing and touring dollars. It’s brilliant!”

Now we can all access this data. What we do with it is a different matter. From Re/Code:

Now Spotify is collecting lots of its listening data and assembling it for musicians, managers and other music pros at a new “Fan Insights” portal. The site is free, but access is limited to musicians and the people who work with them.

Those who can look inside can find interesting insights about their music, primarily information about the people who listen to it.

For instance, Spotify says it can help artists divvy up their audiences into casual listeners, repeat listeners and superfans, who are most likely to share their music with their friends; Spotify says it can help musicians reach out to those superfans directly and give them rewards like access to live shows.

Some of this data was available in the past, but only for artists and managers with enough clout to get Spotify to build a bespoke research report for them. Building the new site helps artists, but it also helps Spotify make its case that it’s helping the music business.

That argument is still contentious, so Spotify can use all the goodwill it can generate

Continue reading.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37434 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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