How A Wildly Popular Playlist Expanded Avicii’s Reach on Spotify


To celebrate New Year’s Eve this year, Spotify and Avicii turned the popular Fresh Dance Tracks playlist into a 24-hour global One World Party with local shoutouts to individual regions, photos, video, and a new Avicii track exclusive to Spotify — a self-remix entitled “The Nights.”

The big idea: to give NYE partiers and dance music fans who wanted to put a professional in charge of their evenings the ultimate dance music for celebrating the last night of 2014, and the first morning of 2015.

Avicii’s New Years Eve One World Party playlist surely boosted partygoers’ spirits; it’s his job to amp up crowds all over the world, and he’s good at it. The takeover also boosted his overall visibility, impact, and playback on Spotify.

As reported by Billboard, “The Nights” climbed to #11 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic chart (where, incidentally, another Spotify fave Mr Probz is number one), during the week ending January 4 in part on the strength of one million streams, 74 percent of which were on Spotify, leading the article to conclude, “Clearly, the playlist promo worked.”

Spotify listeners around the world streamed One World Party so much, and led to so much further discovery of his music, that Avicii reached his highest number of streams ever in a single day on Spotify, with a nearly 2x increase from his December average.

To ensure that these effects were due to his prominence on that playlist on New Year’s Eve, we compared his play spikes to those of comparable NYE party favorites. Sure enough, while their listens lifted to about a third more than normal, Avicii’s NYE boost was 2-3 times as significant. Searches for his music also increased more than it did for the other artists during the playlist takeover.

Part of the fun of these global playlist parties is that instead of their usual, regularly updated, programmed playlist, listeners find something different, in a fun way. In this case, EDM fans following Fresh Dance Tracks discovered a playlist curated by someone famous who is regularly featured on the playlist, following a nine-day countdown on the playlist page, and partied together into the new year. Listeners seemed to like it, as Billboard said. Listening to the playlist during the takeover was nine times higher than during the previous two weeks.