I investigated 🕵️♀️ the sound of 2023's Summer and "It Goes Like"....
Recently, I stumbled upon an Instagram Reel video where people were asked about their 2023 Summer anthems. This got me thinking: I should do some data exploration to try to figure this out
Hey there! 👋
Let's Talk Summer Anthems!
It's been a while, but I'm gearing up to pick up the pace in September as I'll have more time on my hands. Luckily, I've got a bunch of data-driven hypotheses to explore and discuss with all of you.
I'd like to extend a welcome to all the new subscribers. My motivation for delving into data insights within the music industry is due to the widespread underestimation of valuable information at our disposal.
By harnessing this data, fostering curiosity, and employing critical thinking, you can attain a notable advantage over typical music industry executives – a primary objective of the Data Bites newsletter.
Most of these updates have an international scope, but you can use the same method for markets you’re interested in if we do focus on a specific one.
If you're new here, you might have missed some of my earlier newsletters, accessible right here.
Now, let's jump right into the Summer topic... 🏊♀️
Recently, I stumbled upon an Instagram Reel video where people were asked about their 2023 Summer anthems. This got me thinking: Could I use data exploration to figure this out, visualize the outcomes, and then share them here with you all? Plus, I'm planning a late Summer vacation at the end of September, so these insights could help me put together my own Summer playlist. 😌
In previous updates, we chatted about the significance of local consumption trends. With Summer hits, this factor comes into play even more. While there are global or internationally loved Summer hits, there are also songs that become associated with Summer in specific markets. For this update, my focus will be on The Netherlands. However, this approach can apply to any market or playlist keywords, for that matter.
Exploring Spotify's Platform to Uncover Summer Playlists
To jumpstart this investigation, I tapped into Spotify's API to hunt down users who are crafting their Summer playlists.
As a starting point, I queried Spotify's API to locate users with active playlists that feature the keyword 'zomer,' which translates to Summer in Dutch. This initial step led me to discover a total of 1,007 user-generated playlists.
With this playlist collection in hand, I delved into the contents of these playlists to decipher the musical choices people have been including in their personalized Summer selections. This approach granted me valuable insight into the trending Summer songs of the year, offering a proactive glimpse into the tracks that individuals themselves have chosen to add to their playlists.
The dataset encompassed a grand total of 69,000 songs.
Summer 2023's Hottest Adds
First, I went through all the songs that were added to Summer playlists in 2023. This left me with 38,161 songs out of the initial dataset.
Then, I did some math to figure out what percentage of these playlists each song appeared in. Basically, the higher the percentage, the more it showed up on people's Summer playlists.
Not surprisingly, Peggy Gou takes the lead in this aspect. Her song "(It Goes Like) Nanana" made its way into an impressive 31% of all the Summer playlists, a level of success that truly merits its own newsletter update...🤔
Top 10 added songs to Summer playlists in 2023
After Peggy Gou, some of the other hot favorites were "Relax My Eyes," "Pornstar Martini," "Zin In De Zomer Man," and "Sprinter."
I've added a total of 60 songs to this playlist. These additions are categorized into batches of the top ten for each release year, spanning from 2018 to 2023. The ordering within each batch is determined by the number of times a song was added, with the most frequently added song being labeled as #1, and so forth up to #10. The batches are then arranged in a descending manner from #1 to #10, while the years are positioned from 2023 down to 2018.
Determining the release year of songs being added
Something I was even more interested in: When folks put together their Summer playlists, how many of those songs are actually from recent years?
I took a look at the percentages for each release year of all the additions made in 2023, out of the total.
percentage out of all songs added by release year
Among the 38,161 tracks that were added in 2023, 56% were released in the past five years. The remaining songs added in 2023 had been released prior to this timeframe. This observation underscores the enduring importance of the 'catalogue' of older music and reinforces my stance against rigidly categorizing it.
Seasonality, such as the Summer period, presents a prime opportunity for people to rediscover music.
The balance between local and international songs added
Next, I examined the artists of those 38K+ songs, resulting in 13554 distinct artists. For each artist, I gathered their genres and checked for presence in Spotify's designated Dutch genres. If found, I marked them as 'local'; otherwise, they were considered 'international'. There was a minor fraction of artists who didn't have any assigned genres.
split between local and international music per release year
Regarding songs released within the past five years and included in the selection of Summer playlists, an average of 53% were of Dutch origin. Among all the songs added and released in 2023, 55% constituted locally released tracks.
Enhance your Dutch Summer playlist for the upcoming year with these keywords
Be sure to begin early, ensuring your timely indexing in search results... 😉
most used words in Summer playlist titles
That’s all folks! Thanks again for tuning in and I hope this update sparks your curiosity and prompts further questions. Feel free to engage in further discussion with me on X at @plan_bo.