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  • Beyond Borders: Embracing Music Fragmentation for International Success 🌎

Beyond Borders: Embracing Music Fragmentation for International Success 🌎

In a music landscape that is fragmented, it is crucial to understand that a "one-size-fits-all" approach cannot be applied worldwide.

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The reason why I started writing about data insights in the music industry is that many underestimate the vast amount of valuable information available for the taking. With the rise of AI tools, gathering and harnessing this data has become increasingly effortless, and this will become even easier. By levering this information, nurturing curiosity, and applying critical thinking, you can gain a significant edge over the average music industry executive. It’s my goal to showcase what data is out there for grabs and make data more accessible.

Today I want to showcase three different ways of utilising public data to become more informed on the international playlist landscape.

It is important to recognize and consider that every market is unique, characterized by its distinct local elements and consumption patterns. In a music landscape that is fragmented, it is crucial to understand that a "one-size-fits-all" approach cannot be applied worldwide.

As you may be aware, Spotify curates country-specific playlists featuring the best-performing hits in most countries. While the branding may differ from country to country, artists' ultimate aspiration is to secure a spot on these influential playlists. Considered a milestone in the journey of a hit song, these playlists serve as a culmination point, marking a significant achievement for artists.

As a side note, it's important to acknowledge that the playlist ecosystem extends far beyond this particular subset of playlists. However, for the purpose of our discussion today, we'll narrow our focus to these popular and influential Hot Hits playlists.

  1. using data to determine the overlap percentage across hot hits curation

In order to visualize this I gathered curation data across 32 hits playlists to see what the overlap percentage is across any possible relation.

overlap percentage between Hot Hits playlists (tracks added >= 2022)

This highlights the evident diversity in curation across various hits playlists, with clear distinctions between regions and countries. Unsurprisingly, there is a higher percentage of overlap among playlists in Latin America, while Nordic markets also exhibit a substantial overlap. Additionally, the overlap percentage between Malaysia and Singapore exceeds 60%, showcasing the interconnectedness between these neighboring regions.

  1. Get a better understanding of how quickly markets are catching up

In the realm of global playlists, there is one standout: Today's Top Hits. I found myself intrigued by the question of how many songs featured on this playlist also make their way onto country-specific hit lists. Moreover, I pondered whether these songs are swiftly embraced or if some countries lag behind in catching onto the international trends.

tracks added >= 2022

It becomes evident that when songs are featured on both Today's Top Hits and added to LatAm hits playlists, they often receive earlier inclusion in the latter. This observation aligns with the fact that the overlap predominantly consists of Latin American repertoire, which typically originates in the region before gradually expanding to other territories.

In addition, it is worth noting that the countries with the highest one-way overlap, where songs from Today's Top Hits are added to their respective country-specific playlists, include Canada, UK, and Australia. Moreover, a similar trend can be observed in the Nordic countries, where they are often grouped together in terms of playlist inclusion.

  1. Get a better understanding of the individual Hot Hits playlists

In the previous visualizations, our focus was primarily on comparing the playlists among themselves. However, there are instances when we may desire to zoom in on a particular market and gain a deeper understanding of its unique trends and curation.

In order to gain deeper insights, another effective method is to create a plot that encompasses all the tracks added to a specific playlist between 2022 and the present. This plot can provide valuable information about the number of days it took for a song to be included in the playlist after its release. Additionally, it can highlight the duration for which a song remains on the playlist. By making a clear distinction between songs originating from within the country and those from abroad, we can further enhance our understanding of the playlist's composition and dynamics.

Hits Du Moment (France’s #1 hits playlist on Spotify)

Hits Du Moment (France’s #1 hits playlist on Spotify) - zoomed in

The above graphs show the curation of Hits Du Moment, France’s number-one hits playlist. Here we can tell that the median amount of days for songs to be added is 49 days and songs tend to stay on for 124 days. 62% of the tracks were coming from local artists.

In Italy, they curate their playlist by quickly adding songs but keeping them on for fewer days (108 days), with 61% of the added songs originating from Italy, maintaining an equivalent local-to-international ratio as France.

Hot Hits Italy (Italy’s #1 hits playlist on Spotify)

Hot Hits Italy (Italy’s #1 hits playlist on Spotify) - zoomed in

I hope this information has sparked your curiosity and prompted further questions. I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @plan_bo to engage in further discussion.

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