2019-04-30 // Technique Tuesday: The Game of Thrones soundtrack & track playlist distribution

Technique Tuesday: The Game of Thrones album drops on Friday and we delve into its tracks’ playlist distribution....chartmetric.com @chartmetric #musicindustry #business #data #nerdout #analysis

  • Highlights
    • Technique Tuesday: The Game of Thrones album drops on Friday and we delve into its tracks’ playlist distribution
  • 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 30th 2019.
  • Technique Tuesday: For The Throne album
    • Last Friday, HBO’s Game of Thrones worked with Sony’s Columbia Records to release the 14-track album For The Throne, featuring music inspired by the massive series across pop, rap, Latin, rock and folk genres.
    • Three of the tracks were released earlier in the month as teasers to the full-length album, and a few days in, it’s a great time to take a pulse of how its performing in the market.
    • We’ll do that by examining how the popularity among its tracks are distributed via their playlisting distribution.
    • The fan reaction on Spotify and Apple Music seem to be strong: if measured by total current playlists that the tracks are included on, For the Throne was on ~650 playlists on Spotify and ~130 on Apple Music.
    • To put that in perspective, it beats out the Greatest Showman soundtrack, which is on ~600 playlists on Spotify, but it wasn’t quite enough for others.
    • For example, the Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse soundtrack which was released in December of last year is currently on ~2200 Spotify playlists and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is on an astonishing ~8900, though that soundtrack benefits from Queen’s tracks pre-existing for decades before they were included in the film’s album.
    • It’s worth noting that these albums are just like normal album releases in that they usually depend on a leading track to market the rest of the collection.
    • For For The Throne, that track is “Power is Power” by SZA, The Weeknd and Travis Scott, which is on 436 Spotify playlists, including the #17 position on Today’s Top Hits, while the next most playlisted track on the album is “Too Many Gods” by A$AP Rocky and Joey Bada$$ at 128 playlists, which is a decent dropoff.
    • The Greatest Showman soundtrack, which is unique among this group as it showcases the fact that its parent film is actually a musical, also shows a fairly well-distributed playlist dropoff among its three most playlisted tracks as they go from ~320, to ~290, then to ~150 playlists.
    • With the Spiderman soundtrack however, the dropoff is much higher, as Post Malone and Swae Lee’s massively popular “Sunflower” track is on ~1,850 playlists while the next track is only on ~200.
    • Now if a soundtrack is nothing more than a marketing device for its main product, maybe popularity distribution among its tracks is not such a big deal for the TV or film producers, but for the artists involved, it at least shows how much traction the actual music has, as the artists likely got involved for the exposure more than anything else.
    • The editorial playlist support is strong on Spotify, with 56 of those lists containing the album tracks, to include Today’s Top Hits at 23M followers, Teen Party at 3.9M and New Music Friday at 3.1M.
    • Apple Music’s editorial support however is much weaker, with only one A-List playlist listing any of the album’s tracks, and only three of their A&R-focused  “Breaking” playlists (such as Breaking Alternative or Breaking Latino) doing the same.
    • So while the marketing support from the actual platforms can be touch and go, it should at least be comforting for For The Throne’s artists, to know that its fans on Spotify at least are getting their GoT fix via their earbuds, in between episodes.
  • Outro

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