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Published on November 14th, 2017 | by Alan Cross

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How Does Spotify Work? Let’s Dive into How They Analyze What We Listen To

On the surface, Spotify is a place where people go to stream music. Behind the UI, though, is a vast machine that collects and analyzes what we’re listening to, second by second. That data reveals all manner of fascinating things about how the world consumes and values music. Forbes takes a look at what’s going on.

When you have tens of millions of people listening to music every minute of the day, you have access to an extraordinary amount of intel that includes what songs get the most play time, to where listeners are tuning in from and even what device they are using to access the service. There’s no doubt Spotify is a data-driven company and it uses the data in every part of the organization to drive decisions. As the service continues to acquire data points, it’s using that information to train the algorithms and machines to listen to music and extrapolate insights that impact its business and the experience of listeners.

One example is the Discover Weekly feature on Spotify that reached 40 million people in its first year. Every user gets a personalized playlist every week from Spotify of music that they have not heard before on the service, but that will be something the listener is expected to enjoy—a modern-day version of a best friend creating a personalized mix tape.

It’s worth reading. Keep going.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker.

In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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