Dataviz: A ‘Joy Plot’ about Joy Division

You’ve likely seen the iconic album art from Joy Division’s 1979 album, Unknown Pleasures on T-shirts, tattoos, and online. You might also know that the image represents a data plot of eighty successive radio pulses from the first known pulsar, reproduced from a diagram appearing in the January 1971 issue of Scientific American magazine by […]



Animated Heat Map: Prince Listening Around the World

In celebration of Prince’s return to streaming, here is a map of Prince listening over time. Which city listened to the most Prince? That would be his hometown of Minneapolis; see the top 20 Prince-listening cities by share of listening below the map.   These cities had the highest share of Prince listening: Minneapolis, Minnesota, […]


Spotify Reveals How Listening Habits Change with the Seasons

Today is the first day of fall, when we might notice the slightest chill to the air, leading eventually perhaps to autumn foliage, cozy clothes, and spiced everything. It also marks the changing musical tastes of Spotify listeners. To find out how music listening changes by season, Spotify analyzed the stream counts and genres of […]


Trending Playlist Words for 2015: Jams, Spotify + Chill, Tropical House, and More

Languages evolve. Otherwise, the middle English in Chaucer would be as easy to read as your Facebook feed. Spotify listeners have created over 2 billion playlists. Those playlists have titles. By looking at the words in those titles in anonymous aggregate, we can find subtle (and not-so-subtle) changes in how people use language to describe […]


‘Wake Me When September Ends’ Listening Spikes When September Ends

Reddit’s Data Is Beautiful subreddit is abuzz with talk about how Google searches for the Green Day song “Wake Me When September Ends” trends each September. Since this is a song, and we’re Spotify, we figured we’d check to see what happens with actual listening to the song, too. And sure enough, there’s an uptick in […]


Most Popular ‘Throwback Thursday’ Tracks on Spotify Playlists

About nine years ago, the first-ever “Throwback Thursday” appeared on a sneaker blog. Our Thursdays have never been the same. Today, many people celebrate Throwback Thursday each week by sharing something from their past, be it a song, photo, or reminiscence, often with the hashtag #TBT. According to Recode, Matt Halfhill of the sneaker-collecting website […]


‘Most Patriotic’ States According to Spotify Listening

It’s nearly time for we Americans to gather together for cookouts, fireworks, and festooning the red, white, and blue. For many of us, a steady stream of music accompanies the celebration. Last year, we identified the evergreen, perennial music for the ages that most defines The Fourth of July — the songs that appear the […]


The Sound of 420

 Today is April 20, which is 4/20, which is a special day in some circles. The phrase has an obscure origin, as the first such circles apparently took place near a statue in San Rafael, nearly 45 years ago. According to mostly-agreed-upon lore, the popular phrase 420 originated in San Rafael, California, where a group […]


How We Listen: Paul Lamere Explains at SXSW 2015

If you want to see Spotify Insights contributor Paul Lamere at SXSW, get there early. Otherwise, you won’t get in, because people really enjoy his appearances. One guy even says Lamere’s talk last year inspired the headphones he’s launching at this year’s SXSW. On Tuesday, Lamere took another rapt SXSW audience on a guided tour through […]


Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Especially Missy Elliott Win Super Bowl Boosts on Spotify

Super Bowl XLIX was a nail-biter for the ages that came down to one spectacularly dramatic play that had fans of each team jumping for joy or staring in disbelief, depending on which team they support. The football wasn’t the only thing that needed to get run yesterday. After 111.5 million people tuned in to […]


The 100 Most Immortal Tracks on Spotify Right Now

Popular music trundles ever onward, picking up new styles and trends as it discards the old. Except when it doesn’t. Some art holds sway over the popular consciousness for many years — in music, these would be songs for the ages. Now that we’re in the future, here in 2015, we wondered: Which music from […]



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? […]


Comet Landing Boosts Aerosmith Listening

Humankind made history last week when the Rosetta spacecraft’s robotic lander Philae touched down on Comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko. Actually, it landed three times, at 15:34 (pictured above), 17:25, and 17:32 GMT. Yes, the Philae bounced a couple of times, and ended up without enough access to sunlight, so it’s hibernating until it and the comet get […]