Spotify’s whiz-bang summary of 2013

Spotify might not have a big-data operation like Wal-Mart or Target. But 24-million users listened to 4.5-billion hours of music in 2013, and have created one-billion playlists on the platform. So there’s a good flow of metrics. Spotify, which has previously demonstrated a taste for showing off its big numbers, has assembled an interactive presentation of how the service was used in 2013.

If you’re interested in music charting, the feature invites you to drill into global stats by artist, album, and song. You can get more geo-specific by country (only those countries where Spotify operates, naturally) and selected cities. Looking at most-streamed songs in different locations is fun, but Spotify raises the funness quotient by showcasing the most popular songs and playlists for various “moments” — for example, hangovers, road trips, and break-ups.

Spotify reiterates its notorious 5th-birthday statistic: 20 percent of the Spotify library has never been played. That metric runs contrary to the long-tail presumption that there is a little bit of interest in everything. When Spotify first publicized this statistic in October, we suggested creating and promoting an Untouched Tracks playlist to give those dark-matter tracks some love. Whether due to our suggestion (unlikely) or on its own (likely), Spotify is now promoting an #Undiscovered playlist for that purpose. As of this writing, the #Undiscovered playlist is followed by, well, one person. And oddly, the list seems to consist of only spoken-word audio. “Scuba Diving – Frequently Asked Questions”? Well, to each his own on Spotify.

Brad Hill