The Million Tracks of Christmas: Deep Data Dive

Spotify has nearly 180,660 Christmas songs from 63,711 artists — “everybody from Aaron Neville to Zuma the King,” according to Paul Lamere, director of developer platform for The Echo Nest at Spotify, who analyzed all of that Christmas music — nearly one million tracks in total — to discover: Top 20 artists with the most Christmas tracks on Spotify, Top 25 most recorded Christmas […]

Anatomy of a Hit: How Meghan Trainor Made the UK Chart without Selling Downloads

Meghan Trainor made history when her single “All About That Bass” splashed onto the Official Singles Chart in the UK a couple of months ago. This was even before her single went on sale, so she charted solely on the strength of her streaming numbers. Nobody had ever done that before. Should we be surprised? […]

Post Mortem: Slipknot’s Halloween Spotify Takeover

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 […]

Artist Explorer Might Find Your Next Favorite Band in Seconds

You just stumbled upon an amazing way to breeze your way through the world of music on a nearly infinite number of paths starting from whatever artists you hold most dear or are most curious about. Artist Explorer is easy and fun, and you’re practically guaranteed to find artists of interest to you that you’ve never […]

Pink Floyd: Record Streams, Record Sales

Pink Floyd is back, with an epic, 21-track album called The Endless River. Spotify users everywhere have been listening to the album in droves, with over 12 million streams worldwide in the first week alone. The Endless River hit number one in the Official UK Album Chart in its first week, selling over 139K albums […]

From Headphones to T-Shirts: Two Ways Fans Love Artists

Love is a many-splendored thing, as the song would have it. Each one of us music lovers has different feelings for our favorite artists — the ones we’re just kind of into, the ones we’ve only just heard of but will soon find ourselves listening to on repeat, and the ones we know will be with […]

Top Tracks from Halloween Playlists

It’s time for one of our best, and strangest, holidays, Halloween. When else is it okay to maraud through the neighborhood in a disguise demanding sugary snacks? No haunted house or Halloween get-together is complete without a soundtrack. You have come to the right place. Spotify is home to over 600K playlists dedicated to the celebration […]

250 Tracks DJs Play That The Rest of Us Don’t

Different scenarios call for different kinds of music. You won’t catch too many people working out to lullabies or dancing to white noise. When it comes to dancing, DJs have some better ideas. Algoriddim Djay 2, released today for Android to accompany the long-popular iPhone, iPad, and Mac versions, was designed specifically for DJing. For the uninitiated, […]

Anatomy of a Hit: How Mr Probz Came To America

Dutch rapper Mr Probz self-released his song ‘Waves’ late last year. Soon afterwards, German house producer Robin Schulz remixed the song on Soundcloud. Ultra Music and Sony Music Entertainment (SME) co-signed the track and it immediately topped charts in all major EU markets. To date, the track’s had 2.4 million downloads globally, and Mr Probz […]

Hear The Most ‘Dramatic’ Part of Any Song on Spotify

Music’s emotional power stems from a mix of factors, only some of which we understand. Much about music resists full explanation. One thing we do know: Some of the magic has to do with dynamics: changes from soft to loud, or from loud to soft. The most dramatic part of a song often coincides with […]

Songs of ‘You’ and ‘We’

If art reflects society, we should pay attention when musicians sing about us, specific people, or themselves. Thousands of songs begin with the words “You Are,” “We Are,” and “I Am,” offering one portal into such matters. What if we were to look at each group of songs, and see how they tend to differ? This […]

Summer Jams: An Acoustic Analysis

(An earlier version of this post appeared here.) The “summer jam” has been with us for thousands of years. The first documented example, “Sumer Is Icumen In,” dropped in 1260 A.D., probably long before burger first sizzled on grill. Only one thing creates this annual rite of passage, and that’s whether people collectively get together behind […]

Hottest Songs, Biggest Discoveries of 2013

(This post originally appeared here.) Did you notice the calendar switch from 2013 to 2014? This seems to happen every year, bringing a deluge of end-of-year lists, especially where music is concerned. Still, we promise you have yet to see anything like the 2013 “year in music” maps below. The Echo Nest collects more detailed, […]

EDM DJ Secrets

(This post originally appeared here.) Electronic Dance Music DJs are making so much money these days that Las Vegas casino owners think they can make as much from hosting them as they already do from gamblers. Some people say DJs don’t “play” music the way a saxophonist does. They’re right. It’s different. But there’s plenty of […]

The Opposite of Every Genre

(This post originally appeared here.) When The Echo Nest data alchemist Glenn McDonald built a web app for listening to any genre or subgenre of music in the world in seconds, his creation drew lots of attention. Boing Boing co-founder Mark Fraunfelder called it one of his favorite two things, at one point. Part of that […]