2019-04-23 // Technique Tuesday: Spotify Listener to Follower Ratio & Lizzo

It’s Technique Tuesday! We’re diving into the Spotify listener to follower ratio with Coachella darling Lizzo...chartmetric.com @chartmetric #musicindustry #business #data #nerdout #analysis

  • Highlights
    • It’s Technique Tuesday! We’re diving into the Spotify listener to follower ratio with Coachella darling Lizzo
  • Mission
    • Good morning, it’s Jason here at Chartmetric with your 3-minute Data Dump where we upload charts, artists and playlists into your brain so you can stay up on the latest in the music data world.
  • Date
    • This is your Data Dump for Tuesday April 23rd 2019.
  • Technique Tuesday: Listener to Follower Ratio w/ Lizzo
    • Let’s try a new segment called Technique Tuesday, where we take a deep dive into music data concepts.
    • What better artist to start the segment with than Houston-born, Minneapolis-based artist Lizzo?
    • Playing both weekends at this year’s Coachella, Lizzo has stood out as a beloved figure for her candid nature, body positivity, and hot music.
    • On Spotify, Lizzo’s data is showing signs of a promising emerging artist. At 243K followers and 5.4M monthly listeners, this gives her a great listener to follower ratio of 23.1.
    • The reason a higher listener to follower ratio is a noteworthy vital sign for an artist is it attempts to measure the streaming equivalents of reach and engagement.
    • If you’re not familiar with reach or engagement, they are advertising terms that came up with the rise of online or social media ads. Digital advertising is largely responsible for the rise of countless tech giants such as Google and Facebook.
    • In a nutshell, reach is simply about recognition and getting your name out there, where as engagement is when people care enough to actively comment, share a post, or even buy tickets or merch.
    • Now let’s apply this to music streaming, which is not necessarily a social media-like environment, but the concepts can still be applied. 
    • If an artist hasn’t yet been promoted in top-tier playlist spots or other promotional campaigns in streaming app front pages, this will lessen the chance for users to be led to their artist profile to follow them and subsequently raise the artist’s follower count. In this case, this lower follower count would indicate lower reach.
    • But if that same artist has a relatively outsized monthly listener count, it’s as if despite the short amount of reach, they are still getting lots of plays across unique listeners. This can be due to listing on user-generated tastemaker playlists or strong sharing of a favorite track via messaging between friends, for example. This higher listener count, in this case, would signify higher engagement.
    • It’s not a perfect analogy, but dividing the amount of monthly listeners by their followers is like comparing their engagement with their reach. If you have 10 followers but 1 monthly listener, you simply advertise yourself well. However, if you have 1 follower but 10 monthly listeners, you must make awesome music. And this is exactly what the ratio tries to take into account.
    • So to bring it back to Lizzo, her music, in this way, is currently 23 times more popular than her reputation as a public figure.
    • Her ratio of 23.1 for example, puts her in the same realm as Lauv at 23.2 and Noah Cyrus at 23.6.
    • Even though Lauv has around 5x more followers and Noah Cyrus has almost twice as many monthly listeners, both artists’ careers on the rise like Lizzo’s. The benefit of the ratio then is being able to compare the current trajectory of an artist’s streaming presence with other artists, even if those artists are at different stages of their careers.
    • So congrats to Lizzo on her stellar Coachella performances, and here’s to checking out more listener to follower ratios in your daily work.
  • Outro

2019 Chartmetric