I prefer his obscure stuff like Jude.
Not sure if this is exactly he remit of the thread, but I often get surprised as to what is an artist’s most popular song.
For instance, Pavement’s most popular Spotify song is Harness Your Hopes, a B-side never released on an LP, which has more than twice as many listeners as their second most popular song, Cut Your Hair.
505 has become one of Arctic Monkeys biggest songs too, I always thought it was a bit plodding (I’m clearly in the minority).
When i saw them at Primavera Porto i was susrpised to see them have one of the biggest non-headliner crowds of the weekend. I had thought their hype had fallen off a cliff basically by the time the full debut album came around. But, as you say, they do seem like the kind of band who’s be easy to stick in a corporate recommended playlist.
Very good article. Thanks for that. Also interesting about that Galaxie 500 track being really popular because Spotify’s algorithm basically cued it up to play after songs it deemed sounded similar.
Don’t know much about AM, but from my digging this does seem a bit odd as it wasn’t even released as a single and has 750 million plays. Hmmm…
Placement on Spotify playlists gives a lot of ambient artists crazy high numbers of streams. Hammock for one.
Don’t Spotify like to game ambient playlists with lots of tracks that belong to Spotify.
Saw Mom Jeans at Slam Dunk who were on about 4pm on one of the smalleat stages and quite liked them so went on Spotify to check them out. 613k monthly listens which seems a bit higher than I expected but their biggest songs all have 10s of millions of streams
I live in the U.S and that Heat Waves song was a massive main stream pop hit , was on the radio relentlessly.
Self Esteem has 263k monthly listeners. There’s loads of artists with double that who I’ve never heard of, who I’m pretty sure aren’t selling out Hammersmith Apollo.
Someone I went to uni with who makes music as Blakey. He has 459k monthly listeners. He doesn’t tour as far as I can tell. How does he have so many listeners? Other than his music being quite comfortably commercial, maybe that means he’s able to get on lots of playlists?
Am I right to say that many people consume quite a lot of music - and lots of new artists - via big playlists?
I assume if your song is on a big playlist and gets played once by 10 people, you’ve got +10 monthly listeners. Whereas if a big fan of yours listens to the song 10 times, you’ve got 10 plays but only 1 listener.
I reckon plenty of one hit wonder acts can have surprisingly large monthly listener numbers due to being on ‘hits of this year/decade’ type playlists.
I bet there’s also loads of acts with 200k monthly listeners with no songs anywhere near 24m plays.
I’d love to see some numbers looking at songs being put on the big Spotify playlists and those songs being listened to a second time/added to a personal playlist. That would be a really good metric of what people like.
The old metric of sales was a good metric for stuff played on the radio. If a massive single had just been released, you’d be able to hear it on the radio all the time but people still paid for their own copy. A streaming equivalent of that metric would be cool.
Couple of others
New Radicals have 2.9m monthly listeners, You Get What You Give has 317m plays.
That makes sense cos it was a really big single and I still hear it out and about.
Semisonic have 3.5m monthly listeners, Closing Time has 317m plays. What!?
505 is their biggest song among the teens because TikTok
It’s maybe not that big a mystery I guess, it does fit in well with the massive songs from the AM album so probably gained new life after that.
Closimg Time by Semisonic has somehow made its way into ‘classic rock’ playlists
I saw it on Tidal the other day in among a playlist of huge 80s/90s tunes like Born in the USA, Don’t You Forget About Me & Lithium
That’s mad. I actually bought Closing Time on cassette the week it came out without ever hearing it, purely cos my mate told me it was really good. I remember listening to the chart show wondering where it would place… peak position was first week at 25.
This is basically it, the general masses just use Spotify as something to chuck on a 90’s hits/ 2000’s alt rock / guilty pleasures or current pop hirs playlists. Lit for example have 2.5million monthly listeners , now I’d say 99.5% of those listened to a Spotify official playlist with My own worst enemy on and maybe 0.5% sat.down and though I’m in the mood to listen to some Lit, searched them and then cranked though some classic Lit deep cuts.
Apparently Heat Waves has become one of the most popular songs to do sentimental TikTok videos to, so it became massive. One of their weakest songs too imho
I wonder if there was a similar effect back in the day with Beach Boys & Beatles nudging up against each other in the alphabetical record racks