The fun of music data

We’ve been talking about data a lot lately. Earlier this month we introduced you to the new data features in the artist account, and Decoded data for independent artists, explaining how to make your data work harder for you. If you haven’t checked up on either of those posts, we suggest you hit those next – there’s lots of really great information that could help you steer your career as an artist in the right direction.

Even the word ‘data’ implies things that are analytical, black and white, non-creative and – let’s be honest – a bit boring. So we asked, can you take music and artist data and make it fun? Absolutely!

The Pudding

The Kings and Queens of making data fun are the good people over at The Pudding, who visualise data and talking topics in ways only they can imagine.

Want to know who has the largest vocabulary in hip hop? Or see if pop lyrics are getting more repetitive over time? These guys have got you covered. One of our favourite data deep dives The Pudding has done is a look at Outkast’s history through the lens of data, or determine which words are the most “hip hop”. The Pudding are clearly hip hop heads, as am I, so I might be slightly biased, but seriously if you think the numbers in your artist account don’t mean anything, or can’t be analysed from a more creative angle, think again.
A look at Outkast’s history through the lens of data

The language of hip hop 

Who has the largest vocabulary in hip hop?

Are pop lyrics getting more repetitive?

How music taste has evolved

How long does it take to make it big

How music is remembered from the 90’s




Nielsen are without a doubt the authority on music data. Each year they put out in depth reports summarising the previous year’s music data and trends, which the whole music industry tune into intently! They look at everything from how likely people are to pay for music, which Lady Gaga fans spend more money on carbonated drinks, and most relevant to independent artists, what day of the week people listen to music more, and how streaming playlisting is on the rise.

How we listen to music is changing

The GRAMMY effect

How technology is driving music consumption

Playlisting: the 21st century mixtape

Going Gaga on the gridiron



Your favourite Swedish streaming giant Spotify is not only one of the best places to release and discover new music, but a great source of interesting, and sometimes random, music data analyses. Spotify look at things like which countries are the most Christmassy, how the US followed a recent solar eclipse with (you guessed it) ‘Total Eclipse of The Heart’, and why reggaeton exploded in popularity from 2014.

The most Christmassy songs & countries on Spotify

Listening diversity increases nearly 40% on Spotify

‘Total Eclipse of The Heart’ follows the eclipse

How Reggaeton became a global phenomenon on Spotify

How different genres use different scales




Now hopefully you’ll think of data a little differently next time you check out your stats in the Trends section of your artist account. Who knows – someday we might be doing an in-depth study into your songwriting vocabulary!

Make sure read our posts below to get to grips with your data and how to make it work harder for you.