What if Spotify decided who headlined Glastonbury 2016?

Glastonbury Logo 2016Spotify Logo

As over 135,000 live music fans ready themselves for the UK’s largest music festival of the year, Media Insight Consulting (MIC) thought it would be interesting to compare the Glastonbury lineup to the ‘Monthly Listeners’ metric on Spotify. MIC compared Glastonbury’s lineup as it appeared on the poster (73 artists) with how artists ranked by monthly listeners in Spotify.

Media Insight Consulting - Glastonbury & Spotify Lineup Comparison - Top 10

This comparison revealed a few interesting highlights:

  1. Had the lineup been decided by Spotify monthly listeners, the biggest winners in the festival top 10 would be Howard and Guy Lawrence, better known as Disclosure, who would have gained 6 places, rising from 10th to 4th.
  2. Of the 73 artists, the biggest winner overall was AlunaGeorge, who would have jumped from 68th on the Glastonbury lineup to 8th on the Spotify lineup.
  3. Also with notable jumps were Of Monsters and Men (up 59 places to 13th), Jess Glynne (up 36 places to 6th) and The Lumineers (up 49 places to 5th).

Of course, the disconnect helps highlight the importance of curating a lineup that does not over rely on numbers as the basis of all truths but that considers the audience in question, whilst introducing them to new music (otherwise the wonderful Jeff Lynne and his Electric Light Orchestra would be relegated 62 positions).

Media Insight Consulting intend to run a similar comparison after the festival finishes and also a full month after this data was collected to assess the impact playing the festival had on monthly listeners on Spotify. For the full comparison of 73 artists, click here> Glastonbury & Spotify Lineup Comparison – Long List

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Methodology: The poster rank was compared to the Spotify ‘Monthly Listeners’ as of 20/06/2016. The Glastonbury rankings were calculated from an artist’s position on the main festival poster (as of 29/03/2016 – http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/glastonbury-2016-line-up-so-far/). The middle strip of artists, with the headliners at the top, was ranked from 1 (Muse) descending to 20 (Ronnie Spector). The lists of artists either side of the middle strip were ranked in descending order, one from each side, starting from the left (Savages, Underworld, Floating Points, James Blake and so on and so forth). Annie Mac and The Syrian National Orchestra (SNO) were not included in this comparison due to the nature of Annie’s involvement in music as a DJ (and therefore very small streaming numbers on Spotify from some music she released in 2008 & 2009) and the SNO not being on Spotify.

Note: It is important to understand that Spotify is a global platform whilst Glastonbury is a UK festival. Spotify’s published Monthly Active User numbers simply reflect the number of people engaging with an artist and does not consider the variety of factors that influence the ‘monthly listeners’ metric, such as a recent release, popularity, playlist positioning and promotional activity.

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