Post Mortem: Slipknot’s Halloween Spotify Takeover

Slipknot 2014

In honor of the scariest holiday — okay, the only even slightly scary holiday, unless you harbor an irrational fear of Santa or the Bunny — Slipknot seized control of Spotify’s popular Rock Right Now playlist in celebration of this year’s Halloween.

Their Playlist Takeover included original shoutouts and song dedications the band recorded to mix in between the songs (you can listen here). Musical selections were on the “darker, more excessive, more twisted” side, with of course some new Slipknot hits and favorites mixed in. This was, after all, a takeover.

“Don’t adjust your eyes, your ears, your anything,” announced the band. “For the time being, Spotify belongs to Slipknot. Check out our new album .5: The Gray Chapter. Enjoy the madness.”

Now that we’re basking in the aftermath of decorative gourd season, were wondering: What did this Halloween surprise do for Slipknot? Did their Playlist Takeover succeed in exposing new listeners to the band’s music?

To find out, we looked at how many people played Slipknot for the first time, and how they discovered the band, before, during, and after Halloween. To help avoid counting listeners who seemed new to Slipknot simply because they were new to Spotify in general, we only included first-time listeners who’d been on Spotify for at least a month.

Two Big Spikes in New Slipknot Listeners

The following stacked graph below shows two obvious spikes in first-time Slipknot listening on Spotify. The first (on the left) coincides with the release of .5: The Grey Chapter. The second (on the right) represents new listening during Slipknot’s Playlist Takeover.


 New listening clearly spiked twice — when the album dropped, and then during the takeover. New discoveries via Slipknot’s album page peaked when the album was released, as one would probably expect, but a slight increase in Artist page discoveries and a larger increase in Spotify playlist discoveries nearly made up for the difference. (That green “spotify_playlist” section includes our new release and top chart lists, which is why that source contributes so much to the album-release spike as well.)

The big takeaway: The Playlist Takeover lead to almost as many Slipknot discoveries as the album being released. Yes, the album was still relatively new on Halloween, so it surely contributed, but the takeover’s effect was still quite pronounced. If you were looking for proof that these Playlist Takeovers can bring lots of new listeners to the artist in question, well, there it is.

Takeover Leads To Most Total Listens

We know the takeover led to lots of new listeners for Slipknot. What about overall plays though — i.e. from pre-existing fans as well? As it turns out, Slipknot’s Halloween takeover led to the group’s biggest day of listening during the period in question:


As these two graphs show, Slipknot’s Playlist Takeover boosted Slipknot listening quite a bit, especially in terms of exposing the group to new listeners in the wake of their new album.

Here’s the playlist, for those who missed it the first time around: