How Do Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominations Affect Popularity On Spotify?

Shout out to: Malcolm MacLean‘s book, Data Driven Documents D3.js Tips and Tricks v4 which made these really super easy.

See, this here is the endgame — the kind of thing I learned D3 and coding so that I could create. This is what makes programming fun. The following are based on data I collect using the Spotify API.

Here are the inductees in the class of 2019 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

2019-inductees.png
I was in a hurry. I’ll tweak the math for legend placement later.

Here are those who were nominated but not inducted.

2019-nominees.png
I was in a hurry. I’ll put the names in a container later. Maybe.

Nominations were released October 9. You can tell I wasn’t tracking a few of these artists (John Prine, Todd Rundgren, Roxy Music, Stevie Nicks, Janet Jackson) until that date because their lines don’t start until then. There seems to be a slight gain for each (maybe) but that’s total “correlation not causation” because these are Spotify’s very relative and ever-fluctuating “popularity” scores not playcounts.

Suppose the Beatles are higher than all these artists and John Lennon says something stupid like, say, “We’re more popular than Jesus” — the Beatles popularity goes down and since it’s a zero-sum game with Spotify Popularity, everyone who doesn’t put their foot in their mouth gets a bump.

Which, looking at the above graphs, begs the question, “What happened at the end of June to make everyone crash and in mid-July to cause everyone’s climb back up?”

Another, more intriguing point, is early April when the MC5, Radiohead, and the Cure all spiked up and right back down.

Spotify doesn’t answer any of my questions so we’ll never know.

Even if nominations don’t affect anything significantly, we can watch and see if the induction has any significant effect.

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2018 Nominees

The latest nominees were announced in the last couple of days so I was in a sudden rush today to fix a bunch of stuff so I could get them into my database. Hence, I used the old, icky method. I’m not bummed out about that, though, because I did get a ton of stuff fixed that had become broken over time — including changing from PHP session variables to PHP cookies. I also fixed all the column-sorting links and related page-building functions that were jacked up. So, I can take screenshots of some the latest top tracks and albums for this years nominees.

Spotify, because they hate people, doesn’t make the number of plays available through their API — also not available in their web player. “Popularity” is relative to other artists, albums, and tracks on Spotify so the number may go up and down from day to day. So, from what I can guess, an artist’s top albums or tracks may not really be the top tracks or albums by that artist — because the numbers are calculated relative to all other albums and tracks — not like you’re ranking an artist’s songs by number of plays.

Yes, it’s stupid. It’s not just you.

Even more stupid is Last.fm‘s API which totally got my hopes up because you can access the number of plays! But … not the identifiers for the artists, tracks, or albums.

Because they’re stupid. That’s why.

But, in the words of Count Rogin, “Let’s work with what we have, shall we?”

Janet Jackson

janetTracks.png

janetAlbums

WordPress is ridiculously stupid. Depending on the browser and OS you’re using, the tools change. Sometimes you can control how large an image is when it’s placed. Sometimes, you can also make it so a user/reader can click it for a larger version. That seems to be increasingly rare so I apologize for how difficult to read some of these charts are.

John Prine

prineTracks.png

Each column can be sorted in the app by clicking on “Album Name”, “Track”, or “Track Popularity”.

prineAlbums.png

Again, I apologize. When an artist has a ton of albums, it makes for lots of horizontal scrolling so, at some point, I’ll make the bars listed vertically so it doesn’t suck even on a desktop.

Roxy Music

roxyTracks.png

roxyAlbums.png

Eventually, I’ll have the years appear beneath the albums. The albums, by the way, are ordered chronologically by release date.

Stevie Nicks

nicksTracks.png

I included more tracks by Nicks because I thought it was interesting that “Rooms On Fire” made it into the top five while “Talk To Me”, the other single from Rock A Little was at #23.

nicksAlbums.png

Todd Rundgren

rundgrenTracks.png

I grabbed the top 11 tracks because, again, I was rather amused by the fact that four of the top 11 were all “Bang on the Drum All Day.”

I am currently working on an algorithm that would somehow combine all the scores for the same song across albums (including remasters and compilations but not live versions). Same for albums … I’d like a score that took into account several versions of the same album.

At some point, I realized I could take screenshots of the app’s “list” view for albums. In list view, I can sort them, just like the list view for tracks.

rundgrenAlbums.png

Def Leppard

defTracks.png

I grabbed so many more of theirs because, well, I cared more.

defAlbums.png

See how there’s two versions of so many of their albums? I find that irritating. It lowers the tide for all of the albums and tracks in question.

Devo

devoTracks2.png

More rows of Devo because, again, I cared more.

devoAlbums.png

 

Kraftwerk

kraftTracks.png

kraftwerkAlbums.png

I like it when there are fewer albums. The screenshots are prettier.

LL Cool J

coolJtracks.png

coolJalbums.png

MC5

mc5tracks.png

Not a big surprise there for the #1 track.

mc5albums.png

Radiohead

radioTracks.png

radioHeadalbums.png

Rage Against the Machine

rageTracks.png

rageAlbums.png

Rufus

I know for a fact I didn’t add Rufus to my database until they were nominated last year so this line graph represents their popularity over the last year. You’re welcome.

rufusLine.png

rufusTracks.png

rufusAlbums.png

The Cure

cureTracks.png

cureAlbums2.png

The Zombies

The Zombies are nominated again which makes me happy. I think they stand a better chance of getting in this year.

zombiesTracks.png

No surprise in that list. I think what might hurt them is many people might be like me and can only name those top two tracks.

zombiesAlbums2.png

I love that Still Got That Hunger is so high on their top albums list. It deserves it. Good on ya’, guys!