How Music Charts

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Coachella Weekend 1 and the Game of Thrones Season 8 opener just what does this mean for their playlists? @chartmetric #nerdout #musicdata

Show Notes

  • Highlights
    • Coachella Weekend 1 and the Game of Thrones Season 8 opener just what does this mean for their playlists?
  • Mission
    • Good morning, it’s Jason here at Chartmetric with your 3-minute Data Dump where we upload charts, artists and playlists into your brain so you can stay up on the latest in the music data world.
  • Date
    • This is your Data Dump for Tuesday April 16th 2019.
  • Coachella & Game of Thrones spotlight
    • What should we think of event-based playlists? Are they important components of branding strategy? A fun extra for superfans? Or just a marketing afterthought that captures a few of curious bypassers?
    • Most people involved in Western pop culture were tuned into either one of two things this past weekend: Coachella Week 1 happening in the deserts of California, or the Game of Thrones season 8 opener in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.
    • Let’s take a moment to examine both pop culture behemoths in the context of this larger question at hand. (I’ll consider the TV series Game of Thrones an “event” due to its recent season opener.)
    • Both events maintain a curator profile on both Spotify and Apple Music. User “Coachella” is the obvious one for the music festival, while the show’s user profile is named “Game of Thrones” on Spotify, but on Apple Music, it is “Music from Game of Thrones”.
    • Coachella on Spotify currently has six public playlists, with five of them focused on different parts of the day. For example, the “Made in the Shade” playlist is for chilling out in the morning, and “Nights and Lights” is for turning up at night.
    • But most of Coachella’s 214K followers are for their “2019 Lineup” playlist, which is 161 songs long and runs for 10.5 hours. It’s mostly a one song per artist list, and frontline oriented.
    • Childish Gambino currently sits in the #1 position on this playlist with the breezy “Feels Like Summer” track, and as of Sunday, had 38K unique monthly listeners coming from this playlist specifically, which is a pretty neat.
    • Janelle Monae in the #5 spot got 26K monthly listeners from it and Smino, in the last #161 position got about 6.5K listeners. So if we assumed your average user played from beginning to end for a 10.5-hour playlist, still having 25% of your audience is not bad.
    • However, it wouldn’t be surprising if for such a long list, users also shuffled and searched within it to find some sounds they liked...for the artist involved, it’s a decent way to get a few new followers as a side benefit of playing at the highly-coveted event.
    • For Game of Thrones, it’s a different kind of involvement for the fan, though: the main draw is not the music, but the TV show, so playlists are like an extension of the brand.
    • The Game of Thrones presence on Apple Music is rather straightforward: 50 tracks of Ramin Djawadi doing what the Emmy Award-winning score composer does.
    • But for Spotify, the show takes a more creative tack: they have featured 30 different playlists based on characters in the show, featuring a picture of them and simply titled after their name.
    • For example, hardcore warrior Khal Drogo at 3.2K followers features 25 songs of pure metal and the playlist for scheming queen Cersei Lannister starts off with Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman”.
    • The most popular playlist is for the righteous Jon Snow at 21.7K followers, so it’s not like these musical extensions of the characters are pulling major attention for the show or the music artists contained within them, but what does help is when Spotify officially backs you:
    • The official Spotify-curated “Game of Thrones: The End is Coming” playlist sits at 155K followers, and features 3.5 hours of varied music, including Rage Against the Machine’s “Sleep Now in the Fire”.
    • The rap-rock track, sitting in the #1 playlist spot, has drawn 128K unique monthly listeners to the band, for a track that was released back in 1999, which is great for them.
    • So what does it all mean for events or brands? I guess it depends on how creative you are with it, and while it doesn’t draw major listening power, it provides a fun diversion for your true fans. 
    • And for artists? Why not get on them? Any attachment to a major cultural force can only be good for audience reach, and it’s virtually no additional work. And if that playlist is officially curated by Spotify, all the better.
  • Outro
    • That’s it for your Daily Data Dump for Tuesday April 16th 2019. This is Jason from Chartmetric.
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    • And article links and show notes are at a new website:
    • Happy Tuesday, see you tomorrow! 

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