Spotify Uses Big Data to Identify Super Fans, Troy Carter Reveals at GITEX

Rival service Apple Music seems to place more importance on human curation of playlists



Music streaming service Spotify is well known for its extensive use of the data it has gathered about its users’ music listening habits to provide standout features. That has been the case for the some of the services now key features. Like the popular Discover Music, a playlist delivered every Monday morning that is unique to every user since it is based on the type of songs a user has listened to on the service, for instance.

Other recent additions have been Fresh Finds, a feature that puts together the hottest new songs according to a user’s listening habits, Release Radar, “a weekly selection of the newest releases that matter most to you in one convenient playlist” which is updated every Friday and Daily Mix, a set of up to six playlists auto-generated by the company’s algorithms daily in its bid to make it easy for users to build playlists off their existing favourite songs without having to labour doing so.

So, in short, data, big data, is what drives Spotify.

This is quite a different approach to that taken by rival service Apple Music which prioritises playlists curated by humans and even has a live radio show, Beats 1.

On the second day of the GITEX Technology Week (Monday, 17th October), Spotify’s global head of its Creator service, Troy Carter revealed even more of what the company has been doing with the data it has on its users during an interview with Upload VR’s Entreprenuer-in-Residence, Robert Scoble, focused on digital marketing.

According to the former Lady Gaga and Meghan Trainor manager, Spotify now does something it hadn’t been able to do before: identify an artist’s super fans. Spotify defines super fans as those users who stream just music from just one particular artist. Using this data, the company is then able to single out the super fans and it hopes that in the near future it will be able to organize meetups between these fans and their favourite artists. At the moment, though, it uses this data to serve up such users with more content that best matches their interests.

New technology leads to better and richer experiences when technology is layered on top. Artists didn’t have access to data before. Now we can reach super fans, those are the fans who want more.


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