For German Music Fans, World Cup Victory Was Cause for Celebration

Yesterday, Germany stunned World Cup host Brazil with a 7-1 victory, breaking records and Brazilian hearts. But for fans of the German side, which will now advance to the World Cup final, the result was cause for major celebration.

And celebrate they did.

As we did for two earlier matches, we looked at how many people were listening to music on Spotify in Brazil and Germany before, during, and after yesterday’s game. The number of listeners in both countries dipped during the action once again, as people tuned in to the big game.

In Germany, we see a big spike in listeners just after the game’s conclusion, representing some late-night celebrating, before listening declined again as the country went to bed.

Even in Brazil, some fans cranked up music on Spotify after the game, as you can see from the rising yellow line after the game ends. However, they listened a lot less than they did the previous night, and several hours passed before Brazilian listening returned to normal.

The following chart depicts hourly listening in both countries, from the day before the match to this morning:

Germany vs. Brazil: A study in listening patterns

See the red spike? That’s Germany celebrating its victory.

Keep in mind that, unlike in our last story about World Cup listening behavior, this one concerns countries in much different timezones, which helps explain why listening drops off in Germany faster than it did in the Netherlands or Sweden following their victories. (In Germany, the game ended at nearly midnight on a Tuesday night.)

It’s also worth noting that the chart shows hourly listening. So while it might appear that the Germans started celebrating before the game was even over, the spike actually shows how much they were listening about ten minutes after the game.

But the takeaway is clear: People in the country whose team won at the World Cup were more likely to listen to Spotify following their victory, while people in the losing country listened less than usual.

To celebrate with the Germans, give our post-game party playlist a listen. Or, to commiserate with the great futebol nation of Brazil after its uncharacteristic loss, try this one.

Update: We’ve also created a couple of new German genre playlists, for those looking to celebrate with some German techno or German metal.

The Most Distinctive ‘Fourth of July’ Songs in 50 U.S. States

The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day in the United States, is nearly here. Folks across the country are gearing up for annual barbecues, parties, picnics, firework displays, and, of course, the “American” songs that get queued up more on that day than on any other — although that music can differ, depending on where people live.

As a fun experiment, Paul Lamere, director of developer platform for Spotify subsidiary, The Echo Nest, looked into how the 50 U.S. states stack up in terms of what they listen to on the Fourth of July.

We suspected this would lead to an excellent playlist of the songs that are most core to the concept of Independence Day. But we were also just plain curious about what kinds of music the people in the United States play to celebrate it in their own way.

The following map (larger version) shows the most distinctive “Fourth of July” song for each state. This represents the song out of this playlist (methodology below) that the people in a particular state listened to the most on the Fourth of July in 2013, compared to how they listen on other days (see larger PDF version).

Distinctive Fourth of July Songs by State

Pretty neat! You can find your state (here’s that larger version again), and listen to its song, as well as all the others, in the playlist.

Paul also ranked all 50 states (plus Washington, D.C.) by how much each one listened to all of that “Fourth of July” music on last year’s fourth of July.

Here’s how they stack up:

  1. District of Columbia (not a “state,” but scored so high we included it here)
  2. Nebraska
  3. Delaware
  4. Louisiana
  5. Utah
  6. Arkansas
  7. North Dakota
  8. Missouri
  9. Virginia
  10. Tennessee
  11. Massachusetts
  12. Pennsylvania
  13. Minnesota
  14. Maryland
  15. Wisconsin
  16. Oregon
  17. Ohio
  18. Oklahoma
  19. Illinois
  20. Michigan
  21. Idaho
  22. Montana
  23. Wyoming
  24. North Carolina
  25. Vermont
  26. Colorado
  27. Indiana
  28. Georgia
  29. Kentucky
  30. Washington
  31. Texas
  32. Iowa
  33. New York
  34. Alabama
  35. Rhode Island
  36. New Jersey
  37. Connecticut
  38. California
  39. Arizona
  40. Florida
  41. Kansas
  42. Mississippi
  43. South Carolina
  44. New Mexico
  45. West Virginia
  46. Nevada
  47. Hawaii
  48. South Dakota
  49. Maine
  50. New Hampshire
  51. Alaska

How it was done:

We started with a big pool of all the music included in the thousands of playlists on Spotify with “Fourth of July” in their titles.

“That set of songs is this really funny mix,” says Lamere. “You get the core patriotic songs like ‘God Bless America’ and ‘The Star Spangled Banner,’ but you also get summer songs like ‘Summer of ’69” and barbecue songs like ‘Chicken Fried,’ and then you also get whatever was popular on the 4th anyway, like ‘Blurred Lines.'”

To make the list even more “Fourth of July,” he looked at how much people listened to those songs on Independence Day in 2013, versus during the following week. This isolated just the songs that are really, really associated with just the Fourth of July, to build you this perfect playlist for July 4, 2014.

He also looked at each state’s favorite song, finding 46 of the 50 to prefer Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.”. One often sees monolithic results when looking at a state’s most popular anything, so to create the map, we looked at the “distinctive” song for each state — the one that people in a particular state tended to listen to the most on the Fourth of July relative to the rest of the year.

 

Soccer Fans Listen Differently in Winning and Losing Countries

Nearly half of the world’s population watched at least a minute of the last World Cup, according to FIFA (.pdf). At this year’s Brazilian extravaganza, we expect even more people to tune in, given that viewership increased 8 percent last time around.

But you don’t need to know that to understand the global impact of the World Cup — especially in the countries whose teams play that day — whose effect on these nations is so deep that it can be measured by how people listen to music in the hours following the victory or defeat of their team.

With over 40 million regular users and over 10 million subscribers in 57 countries, Spotify reaches many of these soccer (ahem, “football”) fans. To find out how their listening behavior differs based on whether their team wins or loses, we first looked at a World Cup qualifying match.

Our hypothesis: People in the winning countries would listen to happy party music, while people supporting the losing team might resort to less energetic music in order to cool off. However, our acoustic analysis of the top songs after both legs of the qualifying match between Sweden and Portugal in both of those countries actually didn’t show much of a difference in terms of the energy level of listening in those countries.

But we did find something else, which we didn’t actually set out to find. People in Portugal (the winning side) returned to Spotify after the match was over, presumably to celebrate with a post-game party.

Meanwhile, people in Sweden (the losing side) were less likely to listen to music after the match.

Sweden vs. Portugal

Sure enough, there it is: The blue line (Spotify listening in Sweden) continues to decline after the game, while Portuguese listening spiked hard in the hours following the game.

“On the usage graph, we can see both countries’ usage rates go down as the game starts,” said Spotify and The Echo Nest data alchemist Glenn McDonald. “After it ends a couple hours later, however, Sweden’s usage continues to go down, and Portugal’s leaps back up. The victors turn the music back on and celebrate, the losers go to bed!”

To see if the same thing happened during the Spain vs. Netherlands in the World Cup Group Stage, McDonald ran the same test on Friday’s match, a stunning 5-1 upset for the Dutch.

“Well, it’s not very dramatic, but there’s definitely a bigger rebound after the game for the Netherlands than for Spain,” said McDonald.

Spain vs. Netherlands

See that red line jumping up way more than the blue line? Although not quite as dramatically as in the Sweden vs. Portugal graph above, we once again see that when the match ended, the winning country’s music fans tended to fire up Spotify more than those in the losing country (although the Spanish, unlike the Swedes, did increase their listening slightly after their loss).

Our conclusion, so far: People are more likely to listen to music on Spotify after their team wins than after their team loses.

(Note: These graphs do not represent absolute numbers; in other words, they show the amount of listening in each country, relative to how much listening happens there.)

Say Hello to Our New Web API

New Web API

Developers, start your engines. We’ve launched a new version of the Spotify Web API that lets you put everything from album art to music previews into third-party web apps, with a brand new ability to create real Spotify playlists for your users.

Developers, marketers, ad agencies, music hacking gurus, product managers, design firms, and anyone else who wants to build a Spotify web app to further their goals now have a great new tool at their disposal, with more multimedia and baked-in smarts than ever before.

The new web API gives you the power to create powerful music apps on top of Spotify, except instead of founding the company and growing it for eight years, you get to jump right in and start building stuff on day one using our music and metadata, now with the ability to create playlists.

You also get the deep musical intelligence of The Echo Nest. We’ve been hard at work integrating the two APIs so that you can make awesome stuff like this. Your apps can build real Spotify playlists for your users, leveraging all of that Echo Nest data, and all without leaving the experience you’ve designed.

 New features include:

  • Rich Metadata. The new web API lets you retrieve extensive track, album and artist details from the Spotify catalog, including cover art and 30 second track previews.
  • User Profiles & Playlists. With a user’s permission, developers can now access user profile information including playlists, display name, image, country, email, external URL, and subscriber status. Web apps powered by this new API can also build new playlists for users to enjoy later, in their Spotify apps.
  • The Echo Nest: Integrated. We’ve been hard at work with new family members, The Echo Nest, to bring the two APIs together. The result: You can build your projects atop the world’s best music service and the world’s best discovery data.

For more information, click here

 

 

 

 

 

The Danciest, Fastest, Most Energetic Summer Jams from Over 5 Decades

Summer Jams 1962-2014

Summertime. The livin’ is indeed easy. And the jams? They come as natural as the ocean breeze.

In fact, people have been listening to summer jams since 1260 A.D., when the first documented summer hit “Sumer is Icumen In” dropped. That’s a whole lot of memories.

So, what makes a summer jam? We tapped into Spotify’s acoustic analysis technology, powered by The Echo Nest to find out. After doing some digging, we identified the most danceable, fastest, most lively summer songs. We created a list of the top U.S. summer hits dating from 1962 to the hottest summer tracks on Spotify today.

Then we ran deep audio analysis on each track, as reported by WNYC Soundcheck. Our technology allowed us to listen to songs on a pure audio level. This let us identify the following summer jam standouts:

All of these summer jams, from 1962 to this summer, share certain traits: They tend not to lean on the acoustic side. Instead, they trend towards electronic rhythms and melodies. Summer, more than any other season, features the most playful tracks. They are energetic and dancey, yet free and breezy.

You can listen to the summer jams from 1962 to 2014 here (special deal for new subscribers):

(Image courtesy of Flickr/befasterblog)

 

It’s a Super Summer of Music! Get three months of Spotify Premium for the price of one.

Spotify Summer Jams Summer. It’s about time.

With our warmest weather comes a hot offer for new subscribers: three months of Spotify Premium for the price of one. Sign up for this limited offer at spotify.com/summer, available now through June 15th.

That’s a full season of ad-free, on-demand music to enjoy on and offline, in the backyard or on the beach. In fact, anywhere that summer takes you! Here are some summer jams to get you started.

Whatever you’ve got planned for this summer, join ten million Spotify subscribers today with this exclusive offer of $9.99 for the next three months.

Get in on the action today and enjoy your Super Summer of Music! (New subscribers, sign up by June 15th for this special deal.)

This offer is available in Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Germany, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.