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Empowering STAYPart 2

Arm Yourselves, Help Empower STAYs Everywhere!

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Amazon Music
Note: For an overview on how to use and stream on Amazon Music, see https://straykidscomebackguide.com/streaming#amazon-music.

Platform Overview
  • Amazon Music is a streaming service with over 100 million songs and an extensive podcast library. There are 3 plans to choose from:
    • Amazon Music Unlimited: This paid subscription plan is available to anyone. On-demand access to the full catalog (ad-free) is included. Users can have unlimited skips when listening to Stations. Tracks can be played in HD, Ultra HD, or Spatial Audio formats under the individual and family plans but not the single device plan.
    • Amazon Music Prime: This plan is included for Amazon Prime subscribers and offers access to the music catalog (ad-free). Only All-Access Playlists and certain Family and worship-based content are available for download, on-demand playback and unlimited skips. Other playlists, artists and albums will play in shuffle mode. (Note: All-Access Playlists also will play on Echo devices in shuffle mode.) Music will time out after 1 hour of inactivity, with limited skips available unless playlists include purchased songs.
    • Amazon Music with Ads: This free plan gives users access to Amazon’s music catalog and 15 All-Access Playlists for on-demand listening. Outside of these 15 playlists, free members can access thousands of Stations (programmed streams).
  • Music can be listened to via mobile app, the Amazon Music web player on the computer (Mac or Windows), or other devices (e.g., Amazon Echo, Fire TV, Roku, Sonos speakers).

User Statistics
  • Total number of active users is 55 million worldwide.
  • Fourth most popular music streaming service.
  • Amazon does not disclose how many users pay to use the service since Amazon Prime users also have access to a listening tier.
  • Amazon Music accounted for 13.75% of the global streaming market share as of 2021.
    • Available in over 40 countries.
    • Countries with over 50% growth per year:
      • United States
      • United Kingdom
      • Germany
      • Japan
      • France
      • Italy
      • Spain
      • Mexico
    • Demographics for Amazon Music users:
      • About 60% of users are older than 45.
      • 1 in 5 adults use Amazon Music once a week or more.
How Does Amazon Music Define, Collect, and Calculate Its Data?
Data Definition
  • Source of Stream: Location within the app from where streams occur.
  • Stations are streams of music mixed from a genre, mood, or theme and curated by the app (similar to free Pandora).
  • Amazon playlists are streams from any curated playlist — be that on genre, era, context, or locale — made by Amazon Music programmers. The playlists have a fixed number of songs and are frequently updated.
  • User libraries and playlists are streams from a user’s My Music library or any user-made playlist.
  • Browse and search are streams that begin through the app start page, search results, charts, detail pages (artist, album, or song), or the New Release page.
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Data Collection Methods & Calculation
  • To count, a stream must play for longer than 30 seconds.
  • Machine learning:
    • Conversational Recommender: On an Alexa-enabled device, users can ask for music recommendations and be guided through suggestion-based prompts that end either when a playlist or station is accepted or the user abandons the interaction. Machine learning is harnessed to enable a more conversational style.
    • SageMaker: This service enables Amazon Music’s search bar to use spell correction to find the most relevant content by semantics.
  • Web API: An application programming interface (or API) enables computer programs to access data from each other via the API. With Amazon Music’s Web API, users are able to retrieve metadata about music and transfer playlists between services, with some user data available with permission (e.g., playlists, saved podcasts).


Which Criteria Has the Most Impact?
Key Criteria
  • All consumption counts toward trending and top charts, regardless of streaming tier.
  • To count as a digital sale on music charts, songs must be downloaded after purchase. For those purchases to count as streams, either delete purchased albums or songs prior to streaming or stream only from Amazon Music, not purchases.
  • For trending charts (refreshed every 2-3 hours), ranks are based on “upward velocity of consumption.”
  • Daily Voice Index: A median calculation based on how many times a user requests that Alexa play an artist’s music and compared with artists of similar size in a trailing 7-day period. The artist can then be categorized as “Cool,” “Warm,” “Hot,” or “On Fire.” Updated daily.
  • Playlists allow musicians to promote their music to curated audiences, which can lead to more streams, followers and overall visibility.
  • Pre-save campaigns (created by the artist on Linkfire, found.ee or feature.fm) direct fans to a customized landing page where they can pre-save new music and automatically become Amazon Music followers of the artist and have any new music saved in their library.


Impact Analysis
  • Top songs/albums and trending charts are determined or influenced by listener interactions with music both globally and by region. These are calculated by considering both on-demand requests or lean-back listening (which is on playlists or stations).
  • The Daily Voice Index helps artists in comparing their engagement on Alexa with artists who have similar-sized audiences. Those who are rated as “On Fire” are receiving 3.5 times more voice requests than the average.
  • Pre-save campaigns help boost first-day streams and algorithm ranking. Additionally, they help profile the audience and guide the algorithm to recommend the song to similar listeners, refining targeting for future promotions. This process essentially trains the algorithm to identify the audience most likely to enjoy and repeatedly listen to a song.
  • Chart positions and playlisting can influence artists, distributors, record labels, and other stakeholders in regards to promotion, future releases, and visibility.


Impact on Billboard
  • Billboard Integration
    • Amazon Music streams count toward Billboard charts, with streams either weighted as on-demand, ad-supported or programmed, depending on the subscription tier and platform use.
  • Influence on Chart Rankings
    • Specific Billboard charts affected by Amazon Music data:
      • Hot 100 (songs)
      • Global 200 and Global 200 Excl. US (albums)
      • Artist 100 (artists)
      • Streaming Songs (songs)
      • Social 50 (artists)
  • Impact Analysis
    • Premium or paid subscriptions, such as Amazon Music Unlimited, weigh more in music charts than free subscriptions, specifically Billboard 200 and the Hot 100.
    • Digital sales contribute toward charts that take into account sales in their calculations.
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Apple Music & iTunes

Note: For an overview on how to use and stream on Apple Music and purchase from iTunes, see https://straykidscomebackguide.com/streaming#apple-music-itunes.

 

Platform Overview

  • Apple Music is an ad-free subscription streaming service that offers access to 100-plus million songs. Apple Music users are able to download music, see real-time lyrics, listen across multiple devices, enjoy curated playlists, as well as exclusive and original content.

  • There are three subscription tiers available (note there is no free tier available):

    • Student (for up to 4 years for verified students)

    • Individual

    • Family (for up to 5 other people)

    • The individual and family plans are bundled along with five other Apple services into a single subscription. In addition, free access to the companion app Apple Music Classical is included with all plans.

    • Note: Free trials are available through Apple for new subscribers (1 month free), Apple One subscribers (1 month free), or with purchase of an eligible audio device (6 months free).

  • Apple Music is available on all Apple devices (e.g., iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, etc.), via CarPlay, on Android, via smart TVs and gaming devices, as well as Google Nest, Sonos speakers, and more.

  • Through SharePlay, users can start a Group FaceTime call and listen to music together, control playback, or add songs to the shared queue. (Note that users must have access to the content, either through a subscription, free trial, or transaction.) It is unclear whether doing so counts as separate streams of a song.

 

Difference with iTunes

  • iTunes, a free media player and management application that lets users organize, play, download, and purchase digital media, serves as the client app for the iTunes Store. On the store, users can purchase music, and TV shows that, once bought, can be downloaded and played on any device with iTunes.

  • To purchase songs, users must buy in the iTunes app, not via Apple Music, but purchased music opens for playback on the Apple Music app.

  • Note: “When you download content from the iTunes Store, identifiers such as your device’s hardware ID and IP address are logged by Apple along with your Apple ID."

  • The original role of iTunes has been replaced with individual apps, such as Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV.

 

User Statistics

  • As of 2019 (the last time Apple issued official numbers), Apple Music had passed 60 million subscribers.

  • The total number of paying Apple Music subscribers is forecast by JPMorgan to reach 110 million globally by 2025.

  • In terms of global subscribers, it is 3rd only to Spotify and Tencent Music.

  • As of 2020, Apple Music is available in 167 countries.

 

How Does Apple Define, Collect, and Calculate Its Data?

Data Definition

  • Source of a Stream

    • Any song playback initiated by a user for longer than 30 seconds.

Data Collection Methods

  • Apple Music personalizes its services by collecting user data such as songs played and how long they were played.

  • Devices are assigned a device trust score when attempting a purchase based on information about how you use your device. All the data used to compute the score remains on your phone; the score itself is encrypted and sent to Apple, where it’s stored for a fixed time on Apple servers. Apple broadly says the scores are used “to help identify and prevent fraud.”

 

Data Calculation

  • Apple Music for Artists includes the following data:

    • Plays, including those from playlists or Apple Music radio stations, for at least 30 seconds.

    • Average daily listeners. The more a song is shared, the more chance for unique listeners.

    • Shazams (note: Shazam has been owned by Apple since 2018).

 

Which Criteria Has the Most Impact?

Key Criteria

  • Songs played for at least 30 seconds.

  • Playlists help artists reach new audiences, boosting overall views/plays and improving chart positions.

 

Impact Analysis

  • Popular songs and popular albums are determined or influenced by listener interactions with music.

  • Apple Music is able to break down the most popular songs by region, genre, trending, new releases, etc.

 

Impact on Global Charts

General Impact

  • All on-demand Apple Music streams count toward global charts that are streaming-inclusive.

  • It’s unclear whether songs included on Apple Music radio stations would count as on-demand or programmed streams, such as for the Billboard Global 200 and Global 200 Excl. US.

 

Impact on Billboard

  • Billboard Integration

    • Apple Music on-demand streams count with full weight towards Billboard charts.

    • It’s unclear whether songs included on Apple Music radio stations would count as on-demand or programmed streams.

    • Purchased songs that are automatically added to your library and/or device are considered purchased audio files instead of Apple Music audio files and thus will not count as streams toward charting. To ensure any purchased music contributes toward stream counts, users should delete the song from their library, then play it directly from Apple Music.

 

  • Influence on Chart Rankings

    • Apple Music streams contribute to:

      • Billboard Hot 100

      • Billboard 200

      • Billboard Global 200

      • Billboard Global 200 Excl. U.S.

      • All other Billboard charts that use streaming data

  • Impact Analysis

    • Apple Music’s on-demand streams count with full weight toward music chart calculations, specifically the Billboard Global 200 and the Hot 100.

Spotify

Note: For an overview on how to use and stream on Spotify, see https://straykidscomebackguide.com/streaming#spotify.

Platform Overview
Spotify is a digital music, podcast, and video service offering access to millions of songs and other content worldwide. Basic functions are free, with an option to upgrade to Spotify Premium. Users can get personalized recommendations, build collections, and more. Spotify is available on computers, phones, tablets, speakers, TVs, cars, and other devices.
User Statistics
  • Spotify has 615 million users, including 236 million paying subscribers, representing an over 30% market share in streaming services worldwide.
  • As of late 2023:
    • 28% of Spotify's monthly active users are in Europe, with 22% in Latin American and 19% in North America.
    • Europe and Latin America combined make up 50% of Spotify's active user base.
    • 69% of Spotify Premium subscribers are in Europe and North America.
  • Women comprise 56% of users.
  • Most users are under 35, though the average age is steadily increasing as music streaming becomes popular across all age groups.
How Does Spotify Define, Collect, and Calculate Its Data?
Data Definition
Spotify stores data entered by artists, such as song titles, descriptions, lyrics, genre classifications, images, and music files. It also tracks listening history, skipped songs, downloads, social interactions, and external text data about songs or artists. The algorithm analyzes listening history, listening time, and playlist creations, with the algorithm using different criteria to identify the mood, style, and genre of songs.
 
Spotify's Home screen uses the BaRT machine learning algorithm, which relies on Bayesian Additive Regression Trees (a statistical sum-of-trees model) to predict content shelves and provide recommendations based on users' recent listening history.
 
Data Collection Methods
Spotify collects daily interaction data from users worldwide, including listening habits, playlist changes, likes/dislikes, geographic preferences, and social media activity. This data retrains the BaRT algorithm, which uses advanced machine learning to optimize real-time music recommendations and prioritize songs with longer streams. Through "online learning," Spotify continuously updates its model to enhance recommendations and improve the listening experience for millions of subscribers.

Data Calculation

BaRT's success depends on whether users listen to recommended songs on their home screen. If a song is played for more than 30 seconds, Spotify counts it as a positive recommendation, ignoring any song played for less time. The more time users spend on a song or playlist, the better their future suggestions will be.

 

Which Criteria Has the Most Impact?

Key Criteria

Spotify Popularity Index

The Spotify Popularity Index is a score from 0 to 100 that measures an artist's popularity compared to others on the platform. Higher scores lead to more placements in playlists, expanding reach. The index is determined by factors such as total streams, recency of plays, and play frequency.

There are several ways to check the Spotify Popularity Index, such as Musicstax, Chartmetric, Songstats, and Spotify for Developers. The first three are user-friendly, while Spotify for Developers may be challenging for those without coding knowledge.

Playlists

Spotify playlists are created by listeners, experts, and algorithms to help get music in front of millions of potential fans. There are three main types:

 

  • Personalized playlists: Unique to each listener, created by algorithms based on individual and external factors, such as listening habits and playlist additions.

  • Editorial playlists: Curated by Spotify's genre, lifestyle, and culture specialists. Identified by a Spotify logo in the byline.

  • Listener playlists: Created by Spotify users over the years, these playlists help understand fan preferences and influence other playlists by showing what music fans like and recommend.

 

Pre-save campaigns

Pre-Save campaigns enable fans to save new tracks to their Liked Songs upon release, boosting the initial performance and algorithm ranking. Additionally, they help profile the audience and guide the algorithm to recommend the song to similar listeners, refining its targeting for future promotions. This process essentially trains the algorithm to identify the audience most likely to enjoy and repeatedly listen to a song.

 

Impact Analysis

The Index tracks and guides new releases, with each track affecting the artist's overall rating through its SPI calculation. While recent streaming data heavily influences the Popularity Index, metrics such as the save rate, playlist placements, skip rate, and sharing activity also play a role in determining a song's popularity. Starting a pre-save campaign weeks before release can build momentum and attract an initial audience.

 

Impact on Global Charts

General Impact

The inclusion of digital music sales in music charts transformed how chart positions are decided. Previously reliant on physical sales alone, charts now factor in digital downloads, streams, and social media engagement. This inclusive approach offers a more precise reflection of song and artist popularity, welcoming independent artists who excel in digital sales and streams despite limited physical sales.

 

 

Impact on Billboard

  • Billboard Integration

    • All Spotify streams count toward Billboard charting. Spotify’s Premium streams count with full weight in chart calculations, while streams from its free tier, which is ad-supported, count for ⅔ points. 

 

  • Influence on Chart Rankings

    • Spotify streams contribute to:

      • Billboard Hot 100

      • Billboard 200

      • Billboard Global 200

      • Billboard Global 200 Excl. U.S.

      • All other Billboard charts that use streaming data

 

  • Impact Analysis

    • To have the most impact on Billboard chart rankings, premium account streams are given the most weight.

YouTube Video Streaming & YouTube Music

Note: For an overview on how to use and stream on YouTube and YouTube Music, see https://straykidscomebackguide.com/streaming#youtube-video-streaming.

 

Platform Overview

YouTube is a platform for uploading, watching, and sharing videos, with features such as autoplay and personalized playlists. Accessible via web and mobile apps, it integrates with Google+ accounts for a tailored experience. Users can create channels for various content types, and subscribers receive updates on new videos, fostering community interaction through comments. Premium subscribers enjoy ad-free viewing and exclusive content.

YouTube Music, developed by YouTube, offers a vast library of songs, albums, and music videos. It provides both ad-supported and premium options, with premium features including ad-free listening, background playback, and offline downloads. It integrates seamlessly with YouTube's video platform, allowing easy switching between audio and video content.

User Statistics

Number of active users + subscriber vs. free user ratios:

  • YouTube has 2.49 billion monthly active users, accounting for half of the 5.04 billion social media users worldwide, making it the second most used social platform.

  • As of December 2023, YouTube Music had 868.4 million users, with an expected increase to 1 billion by 2026. Every YouTube account includes access to YouTube Music, contributing to the user count.

  • YouTube has 100 million paying subscribers, reflecting the growing popularity of its Music and Premium services.

Geographic distribution of users:

  • India has the largest YouTube audience with 462 million active users, followed by the United States with 239 million users, and Brazil with 144 million users.

  • The United States drives the most YouTube traffic, contributing 21.93% of the platform’s traffic, while India contributes 8.11%.

  • YouTube Music is available in 120 countries and territories.

 

Demographic Distribution of Users: 

  • Approximately 54% of global viewers identify as men, while around 46% identify as women.

  • The largest share of YouTube users are between the ages of 25 to 34. 

Source: YouTube

Source: DataReportal

How Does YouTube Define, Collect, and Calculate Its Data?

Data Definition

YouTube and YouTube Music are closely linked, with YouTube Music incorporating stream counts from regular YouTube into its “Play” counts, including music video (MV) views, official audio views, and likely other sources such as dance practices and official live performances. 

 

YouTube Music uses advanced algorithms to create personalized playlists and recommendations based on a user's listening history and preferences. The data measures a video's total reach by accounting for viewers on different devices and shared devices, including both signed-in and signed-out traffic, to estimate the number of viewers.

 

Data Collection Methods

YouTube and YouTube Music gather data through a combination of user behavior analysis, engagement metrics, demographic information, device and usage data, and monitoring content trends. This approach enables YouTube to deliver a personalized and engaging music and video streaming experience tailored to individual user preferences and behaviors.

 

Data Calculation

YouTube and YouTube Music views are calculated using a combination of factors, including the number of views, view duration, user interactions, and views from external sources. Although the exact formula is not disclosed, these elements significantly influence a video's view count.

Songs and videos must be played for 30 seconds to count as a stream. Skipping through but still watching for 30 seconds counts as a view; watching for less than 30 seconds does not. 

Not all views are treated equally by YouTube's algorithm. Views from unique IP addresses, longer viewing durations, and user interactions (such as likes, comments, shares, and subscriptions) are given more weight. These factors indicate higher user engagement and can affect a video's visibility and ranking.

YouTube prohibits activities that artificially increase views, likes, comments, or other metrics using automatic systems or deceptive methods.

YouTube views can be increased by ad purchases, but these ad views don't qualify for charting.  

Stray Kids YouTube Subscribers Growth Overview as of June 9th, 2024 via Chartmetrics.

Which Criteria Has the Most Impact?

Key Criteria

Charts: All charting for YouTube & YouTube Music is based on total view/play counts, whether daily or weekly totals. The only exception is the “Weekly Top Songs on Shorts,” which ranks “based on the total number of Shorts created that feature the song” and is not relevant to YouTube Music.

 

YouTube Charts break down the most viewed music on YouTube by song, video, artist, and Shorts.

Top Music Video Charts:

  • Rank official music videos by view count.

  • Updated daily and weekly.

Top Songs on Shorts:

  • Rank the top 50 songs featured in Shorts.

  • Based on the total number of Shorts created with the song.

  • Updated daily and weekly.

Weekly Top Artists:

  • Rank the top 100 artists by total views.

  • Based on combined song views attributed to the artist on YouTube.

Playlists: YouTube Music feature playlists reflecting chart positions, with variations by region. Examples include:

  • Top 100 Music Videos (regional/weekly)

  • Top MVs (genres/regional/weekly)

  • Top 100 Songs (regional)

  • Top Artists (regional)

  • Top 20 Trending Songs (regional) 

Users can engage with the most popular music from 57 countries globally. YouTube Music also creates curated playlists highlighted on the app's homepage, such as:

  • New Release Mix

  • 2024 Songs of Summer

  • K-pop Party Hits

  • Dance Hits

  • Turn Up Time

Additionally, YouTube Music automixes playlists based on users' listening history. Playlists help artists reach new audiences, boosting overall views/plays and improving chart positions.

Also of note is that YouTube Music may be working on a feature for users to upvote playlists, though this update may not come to fruition or may have limited availability.

YouTube Suggestions: 

YouTube's recommendation system aims to help people discover videos that match their interests and provide value. Recommendations appear in two main places: your homepage and the "Up Next" panel, which shows suggested videos on the right side of your screen while watching a video. 

The algorithm considers various factors, including your interests, liked channels, and watch history, to curate a personalized list of recommended videos.

To increase the possibility of being added to the recommendations:

1. Increase engagement

2. Increase watch time

3. Make YouTube playlists

YouTube Search:

Based on user behavior and keywords, YouTube's system filters the vast video library to a select few and ranks them by engagement metrics and relevance. YouTube ensures users receive the best search results by balancing relevance and popularity. Videos with higher engagement, like views, shares, likes, and comments, are prioritized, but YouTube also ensures that new content from emerging channels isn't overshadowed by popular creators.

Impact Analysis

The YouTube algorithm offers personalized suggestions to each viewer by analyzing various factors. These include the performance and quality of the videos, such as watch time and engagement levels, as well as the viewer's interests and behavior patterns, like their viewing history and interaction with similar content. This ensures that each user receives recommendations tailored to their preferences, enhancing their overall viewing experience.

Video content on YouTube can be leveraged to give a song additional play opportunities for Billboard charting. The availability of lyric videos, official audios, MVs, and dance practices all contribute to the charts, giving fans higher streaming capability without engaging in “bot-like” behavior, which results in filtering. 

YouTube Music aids in the discovery of new music, driving new listeners to songs and enhancing play counts and the potential for charting.

Impact on Global Charts

With YouTube’s ability to reach such a wide range of people across the world, growing popularity for music streaming, and advanced algorithms, YouTube has the ability to aid songs and artists in chart positioning, both on YouTube Charts and Billboard Charts.

Impact on Billboard

  • Billboard Integration

    • YouTube streams, whether for song audio or music videos, count toward Billboard charts.

    • Billboard and Nielsen are now including U.S. YouTube data in their platforms, updating the methodology for the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart to factor in YouTube data.

    • This integration acknowledges YouTube's significant influence on music and popular culture, enhancing the accuracy of the Billboard Hot 100, Streaming Songs, and various genre charts by incorporating this interactive data into their existing diverse data sources.

 

  • Influence on Chart Rankings

    • Billboard is incorporating all official YouTube videos, including Vevo, into the Hot 100 and genre-specific charts such as Hot Country Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, R&B Songs, Rap Songs, Hot Latin Songs, Hot Rock Songs, and Dance/Electronic Songs. User-generated authorized audio is no longer relevant for Billboard but still aids YouTube charts.

As of 2020, Billboard now includes YouTube views in the Billboard 200 albums chart but only counts content uploaded by or on behalf of music rights holders. Additionally, Billboard weights all streams for charting, with premium on-demand YouTube Music streams counting more than streams from ad-supported YouTube accounts.

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Pandora

Note: For an overview on how to use and stream on Pandora, see https://straykidscomebackguide.com/streaming#pandora

Platform Overview

  • Pandora is an internet radio and streaming platform available on web browser or via app with free and paid memberships. While paying users can participate in on-demand streaming, Pandora’s basic service is available to all users. 

  • Since Pandora is an internet radio service, users are able to create their own “stations” based on a selected artist or song, with Pandora’s algorithm providing the next songs.

  • There are 3 streaming tiers: 

    • Free: no on-demand streaming, uses ads.

    • Plus: offers ad-free personalized stations with unlimited track skipping and limited song replays and offline listening.

    • Premium: same as Plus, with on-demand streaming and the ability to make and share playlists.

 

User Statistics

  • In 2023:

    • Pandora reported having over 250 million registered accounts, with over 47 million active users.

    • Paid subscribers comprised 6.2 million users.

  • Demographics:

    • Pandora is only available to US-based consumers.

    • 59% of Pandora users identify as women.

    • Almost 50% of users are aged 23-44.

 

How Does Pandora Define, Collect, and Calculate Its Data?

Data Definition

  • Unique listeners: The number of users who have heard a song by a selected artist.

  • Streams: The number of times a song is played on the app.

  • Stations: Artist or song stations that are added by users.

  • Thumbs Up:  Positive song feedback from users.

Data Collection Methods

  • User interactions such as thumbs-ups, spins, and skips in addition to listener quantity and streaming origination inform Pandora’s data collection. Pandora is then able to aggregate that data and provide it to artists on their Pandora AMP (Artist Marketing Platform).

Data Calculation

  • Audience reach metrics are calculated by comparing the fans an artist reached to the number of fans they had the potential to reach. 

  • Music trending metrics are calculated by comparing artist activity over the span of 180 days.

  • Engagement metrics are calculated by looking at the interaction, sharing, and engagement activities of the audience.

 

 Which Criteria Has the Most Impact?

Key Criteria can be understood by looking at Pandora’s own charts.

  • Thumbs

    • Top Thumb Hundred: These new releases are ranked by the “thumb” activity of the audience, with a “thumbs-up” representing positive feedback.

  • Streams

    • Top Spins: Ranked by streaming numbers, songs are only able to stay on this chart for 16 weeks while they are gaining positions.

  • Stations

    • Trendsetters: This artist chart excludes “mainstream” artists, ranking “up-and-coming” artists based on the number of times users add their station.

Impact Analysis

  • Pandora’s algorithm is dynamic and utilizes feedback from one user to make recommendations for another user.

  • When a STAY interacts with Stray Kids’ music by giving it a “thumbs-up,'' streaming it, and adding their songs/artist stations, they increase SKZ’s exposure by increasing the odds of one of their songs being played on another user’s station.

 

Impact on Global Charts

General Impact

  • Pandora has made its streaming data available to Chartmetric for charting usage, but it should be noted that Pandora is only available for use in the US, limiting its meaning globally.

Stray Kids Pandora Monthly Listeners Growth Overview as of June 9th, 2024 via Chartmetrics.

Impact on Billboard

Billboard Integration

  • In 2017, Pandora started reporting its internet radio streams to Billboard for the Hot 100 chart.

  • As of 2018, Pandora reports its Plus and Premium subscription streams to Billboard for inclusion in the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 charts, as well as other streaming and genre-ranking charts.

Influence on Chart Rankings

  • When Billboard started using Pandora’s internet radio streaming data in 2017, it impacted the placement of 35 songs on the Hot 100 chart.

  • Case Study

    • In 2019, Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved” hit the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart after 24 weeks.

    • During that time, the song was pushed by both Pandora and Sirius XM. Pandora placed the song as a featured track, adding it to playlists and utilizing its algorithm to increase the song’s presence on stations with similar sounds. During that two-month period, digital sales rose 563% and on-demand streams increased by 161.5%.

    • It is not known the influence of Pandora vs. Sirius XM in this case study.

Deezer
Note: For an overview on how to use and stream on Deezer, see https://straykidscomebackguide.com/streaming#deezer


Platform Overview
Deezer is a digital music streaming app that gives access to over 120 million tracks and podcasts. Users are able to download and listen offline with premium accounts but are limited to only 30 seconds of a track with free accounts.  
 
Other features of the platform include song lyric translation, music quizzes, and SongCatcher, a song-recognition program similar to Shazam that allows users to hum, sing, or whistle to discover the name of a track. 
 
Deezer offers free and premium accounts for either one, two, or six accounts (family plan). Deezer premium is available on web browsers, desktop app, Android and iOS, wearable devices such as Garmin, smart speakers, and voice assistants like Siri.


User Statistics
  • Deezer has 10.5 million subscribers as of February 2024, with 5.6 million categorized as paid subscribers.
  • 40.7% of Deezer’s traffic comes from France, 13.04% from Brazil, 5.28% from Mexico, and 3.91% in the US.
  • In France, Deezer made partnerships with the telecom giant Orange in 2011 that included Deezer premium ad-free subscriptions in its premium cellphone plans for as low as €1 per month, compared to the regular price of €11.99.
  • 58.19% of users are men.
  • The majority of users are in the 25-34 age range, making up 29.75% of total users.

 
How Does Deezer Define, Collect, and Calculate Its Data?
Data Collection
Deezer collects user activity, including listening data, actions after clicking links, and search history, to provide personalized recommendations for content.

Deezer uses an algorithm called Flow that helps users discover new music through radio-style playlists of songs through a process of filtering, content analysis, and mood annotations to create mood-specific playlists. Originally introduced in 2014 and upgraded in 2021, this unique emotion-based machine learning AI seeks to eliminate choice overload and help users select music from a catalog of over 90 million tracks based on how they feel.
Data Calculation
Deezer does not publicly display the number of streams a song has, but creators have access to analytics, including trending tracks and artists, most streamed artists, most streamed songs, total streams and unique listeners, how many people listen to an artist’s music, as well as the activity of the fans of the artist. 
 
Artists can also view where people are listening to their content, playlists with their content, streams over time and total streams, as well as their fans’ demographics. In addition, fandom analytics allow artists to see their fan community as defined by superfans, fans, engaged streamers, qualified streamers, and casual streamers. 


Which Criteria Has the Most Impact?
Key Criteria
Streams are defined as a song with 30 seconds of play. 
 
Deezer’s charts include daily, weekly, and monthly charts for top tracks, artists, albums, and playlists. Total streams are a key component to charts on Deezer such as Top 100 songs Worldwide. 
 
After a partnership with Merlin and Universal Music Group, Deezer has shifted to what it calls “artist-centric royalties,” which introduces a monetization cap of 1,000 streams per individual user per month, meaning every user’s contribution is capped at 1,000 streams, regardless of the actual amount.  
 
Deezer posits this rule will help eliminate streaming fraud, as they regard “normal human” streams to be around 400 to 600 tracks per month. The platform has also deleted over 26 million tracks it considers noise tracks, mono-tracks, or tracks with zero streams in order to “preserve the integrity of the platform.”

Additionally, professional artists are defined as artists who maintain a level of 1,000 streams per month from 500 unique listeners. For these artists, one stream is boosted to count for two plays. In addition, artists that are actively searched for by users on the platform receive another boost, meaning a professional artist could potentially receive a stream that counts as four plays when the pool of revenue is divided.  

 
Playlists 
Playlists are also a major factor for this platform, as popular music and new releases impact the curated playlists of the platform, such as Radar Weekly, Fresh K-Pop, etc. Songs that are searched for are favored algorithmically and revenue-wise over discovery of new music through the Flow playlists.
 
Impact Analysis
Due to the royalty stream cap, mass streaming is not an effective tactic for this platform. Instead, unique listeners that are searching directly for Stray Kids and streaming fewer than 1,000 tracks a month would find this platform more suited for them. Because free accounts provide 30 seconds of playtime, which qualifies as a stream, using free Deezer accounts to supplement mass streaming goals may be a more effective tactic.


Impact on Global Charts
General Impact
While Deezer is not as large as its counterparts, it has a major hold in some regions, most notably France and Brazil. Because of its popularity in France, it is most impactful on the SNEP charts.


Impact on Billboard
  • Billboard Integration
    • As of 2023, Deezer streams count toward Billboard charting, though its premium streams carry more weight than its free ad-supported streams. However, because of the new artist-centric model the platform has implemented, it remains to be seen how this will affect the platform’s influence on the Billboard charts.
 
  • Influence on Chart Rankings
    • Deezer streams contribute to:
      • Billboard Hot 100
      • Billboard 200
      • Billboard Global 200
      • Billboard Global 200 Excl. US
      • All other Billboard charts that use streaming data
  • Impact Analysis
To have the most impact on Billboard chart rankings, premium account streams are given the most weight.
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Soundcloud

 

Platform Overview

  • As one of the largest open music streaming platforms available, SoundCloud is well-known as a global hub for independent music creators to upload their music and find fans (such as 3RACHA’s origins).

  • Subscription options:

    • Free: on-demand streaming with ads.

    • SoundCloud Go: ad-free with unlimited offline access to songs.

    • SoundCloud Go+: in addition to Go features, offers access to over 30 million tracks with better sound quality.

 

User Statistics

  • SoundCloud has over 140 million users in 190 countries.

  • 76 million of those users have paid accounts.

  • In 2021, SoundCloud reported it had over 76 million active monthly users.

  • Demographics:

    • 69% of SoundCloud users are aged 18-29.

    • 63% identify as male.

    • Hip-hop and R&B are the most listened-to genres.

    • Global mobile usage: 

      • US: 27%

      • UK: 6%

      • Germany: 5%

      • France: 3%

How Does Soundcloud Define, Collect, and Calculate Its Data?

Data Definition

  • Plays: Stream counts that are counted as soon as they start (as opposed to requiring 30 seconds like other streaming platforms). Plays that occur when a user is not signed in can take up to 24 hours to be counted.

  • Likes: Liked songs or albums are added to the user’s collection.

  • Reposts: When a user boosts a track or playlist by adding it to their profile.

  • Comments: Indicate listener engagement and discourse about the song.

  • Downloads: Certain songs are available for download from SoundCloud, based on the preference of the artist.

  • Data Collection Methods

    • Data is collected through tracking user activity.

  • Data Calculation

    • Data is calculated by looking at plays and origination (on-demand vs. algorithm-supplied), listener feedback, and activity such high-quality social media engagement (e.g., sending links via Instagram or Facebook).

Which Criteria Has the Most Impact?

Key Criteria

  • Listener activity

  • Listener history

  • Genre

Impact Analysis

  • Sound popularity on SoundCloud is driven by the algorithm. The user-focused algorithm attempts to match listeners to music they might like by analyzing songs they’ve listened to previously, how they’ve ranked and interacted with those songs, and matching genres. 

 

Impact on Global Charts

General Impact

  • For SoundCloud songs to be reported to Nielsen Music, it must be part of SoundCloud’s Premier or monetization system.

  • Streams that are licensed and monetized are counted in the UK’s Official Charts.

Case Studies

  • Post Malone’s “White Iverson” went viral on SoundCloud with over 1 million plays shortly before he signed on to Republic Records.

  • Kehlani was noticed by NIck Cannon after she released “ANTISUMMERLUV” on the platform. He sponsored her studio time, and she went on to release multiple songs that racked up millions of streams.

  • Kygo took off on SoundCloud after his remix of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” gained 50 million plays. He continued to grow on SoundCloud and Youtube before being asked to remix a Coldplay song by Chris Martin.

 

Impact on Billboard

  • Billboard Integration

    • In 2016, Billboard started counting domestic streams in the Hot 100.

    • In 2021, Billboard started counting global streams for the Global 200 and Global 200 Excl. US charts.

    • Songs must be licensed and part of SoundCloud’s monetization system to be eligible for Billboard rankings.

  • Influence on Chart Rankings

    • It has not been reported if SoundCloud streaming numbers have a direct impact on chart rankings.

 

  • Impact Analysis

    • SoundCloud is unique because it is open streaming: Artists are able to upload their songs well before they become known or develop a following. As a result, it is part of the origin story for many hip-hop and R&B artists before they become hitmakers.

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Audiomack

Note: For an overview on how to use and stream on Audiomack, see https://straykidscomebackguide.com/streaming#audiomack.

Platform Overview

Audiomack is a digital music streaming platform that does not charge artists to upload their music. 

 

Audiomack is free for users and offers free accounts unlimited storage, but the paid version enables high-quality streaming and removes ads. Audiomack hopes to be a complement to other streaming platforms and focuses on new artists. Audiomack also allows you to play local files and describes itself as “your all-purpose music controller.”  

 

Audiomack is available on the web, and both a creator app for artists and a streaming app for users are available on Android and iOS.

User Statistics

  • Audiomack has over 30 million monthly users, with no clear indication of how many are premium users.

  • While 38.09% of users are in the US, Audiomack is gaining in popularity in African countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana.

  • Audiomack was the most downloaded app in Nigeria on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in 2020, and the most popular iOS music app in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Senegal, and Kenya in 2021.

  • 66.44% of users are men.

  • The majority of users are younger, with 32.77% aged 18 to 22 and 29.36% aged 25 to 34.

How Does Audiomack Define, Collect, and Calculate Its Data?

Data Collection

Audiomack collects and stores data about how users interact with the app such as songs played, playlists created, and duration of listening. Location data is also stored in order to personalize content and for geographical charts, though stream counts are not released publicly.

Audiomack uses Recombee, a recommender system that provides real-time data processing for deep-learning models that saw a 206% increase in monthly plays from recommendations. Recombee factors in geolocation-based recommendations to reflect 100-plus cultural regions using the hierarchical relationships between songs and artists through item segmentations. Recombee describes item segmentation as a way to group items based on their properties that they use on recommending artists and similar artists, which accounted for 10% of total follows.  

 

Data Calculation

Audiomack has explained that if a user listens to a 10-track album two times, it is recorded as two complete album plays in comparison to 20 total plays for that artist. There are campaigns to purchase 1,000 plays on Audiomack for as low as $3 to inflate numbers, and it’s claimed that purchased plays can boost search rankings and discoverability as well as increase audience engagement.  

Which Criteria Has the Most Impact?

Key Criteria

Artists on Audiomack are able to upload music to the platform even on free accounts, making it accessible to most artists; however, in order to receive royalties, artists must be authenticated, having at least two uploads, 25 followers, and 1,000 plays. 

 

Audiomack uses its trending, playlists, and top charts to drive discovery, plus has introduced subgenre and mood tags to help fans find new music. 

 

Playlists 

Artists are able to submit songs and albums directly to curators of the trending lists on Audiomack. In addition, Audiomack offers a unique Supporters feature that offers fans a way to directly support their favorite artists and for the artists to connect with fans directly. Supporters is available in 191 countries, and fans can purchase badges tied to a song or album, allowing the artist to earn more and the fan to show off his or her support.  

 

Impact Analysis

Audiomack’s algorithm curates songs in specific regions for its Weekly Geo Charts, allowing users to see what songs, artists, and playlists are popular in their region. Popular songs and albums are also given additional exposure in the Top Songs and Top Albums charts.

 

There is also a Top Supported chart that is associated with the Supporters feature that allows fans to directly contribute financially to the success of their favorite artists.

Impact on Global Charts

General Impact

The impact of Audiomack for new musicians without the full force of labels behind them cannot be understated. The “freemium” model that allows users free access to much of the platform helps to attract a large and diverse user base across the world. 

Impact on Billboard

 

  • Billboard Integration

    • All Audiomack streams, with the exception of local file and offline plays, count toward Billboard charting. Audiomack’s premium streams count with full weight in chart calculations, while logged-in streams from its free tier, which is ad-supported, count for ⅔ points. 

 

  • Influence on Chart Rankings

    • Audiomack streams contribute to:

      • Billboard Hot 100

      • Billboard 200

      • Billboard Global 200

      • Billboard Global 200 Excl. U.S.

      • All other Billboard charts that use streaming data

 

  • Impact Analysis

To have the most impact on Billboard chart rankings, premium account streams are given the most weight.

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Tidal
Note: For an overview on how to use and stream on Tidal, see https://straykidscomebackguide.com/streaming#tidal


 
Platform Overview
Tidal is a global streaming service with a catalog of over 110 million tracks, offering a variety of podcasts, music videos, live concert recordings, and professionally curated playlists.
 
As with most streaming services, Tidal is accessible on various devices, including computers, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and speakers, in-car, and wearables. It also is regarded as offering some of the best lossless and hi-res music tracks in the industry, ideal for audiophiles. (Lossless audio is a form of compression that preserves all of the music file’s original data.)  
 
Some uniques features:
  • The Tidal app works with over 95 platforms, including Android, iOS, and desktop, as well as some cars and HiFi equipment.
  • Known for being “founded for artists by artists” — it was originally owned by a group of musicians that included Beyonce, Jack White, Madonna, Alicia Keys and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, among others, before being bought by Square in 2021 — Tidal is one of the few streaming services to pay slightly more than 1 cent per stream (note that payout rates may differ based on rights held, revenue split, streaming thresholds, country where the stream occurs, and the user’s subscription tier).
  • The service used to provide playlists curated by experts such as  Jay-Z, though those have dwindled over the years.
  • Through its as-yet-unlaunched TIDAL RISING program, Tidal seeks to help directly fund, educate, mentor and connect fledgling artists. The program is set to begin in the US with additional regions to follow.
  • Tidal offers DJ hardware/software integration along with a separate subscription extension.
  • As of April 2024, Tidal does not offer a free tier. (Note that it offers a free 30-day trial of its services.) Instead, its plans include:  
    • Individual plan
    • Family plan (for you and up to 5 other family members) 
    • Student plan (discounted for current students) 
    • The DJ Extension add-on is available for additional to access stem separation (availability varies by partner) and over 110M songs in lossless quality through TIDAL’s suite of DJ integrations.
  • Similar to Stationhead, subscribers (either on the paid plan or trial) can start or join a Live session in their country (only US and Canada listeners/DJs can join cross-territory). The Live session, through which listeners can stream songs based on a dedicated DJ’s spins, is discoverable in a dedicated app section from which “50% of your total listeners will come from.” (Note that sessions are only playable via the app and your device must be able to handle the streaming formats.) 
​​


User Statistics
Number of Active Users 
Tidal does not disclose subscriber totals, but as of mid-2020, it reported approximately 2.1 million subscribers.
 
Demographics Distribution of Users
  • Tidal does not share user demographics. According to the data aggregation website Similarweb, which analyzes web traffic and performance, as of May 2024, Tidal.com’s audience seems to be predominantly male: 63.36% of web traffic vs 36.64% for female. The largest age group of visitors is aged 25-34. 

Geographic Distribution of Users

  • The Tidal app is available in 61 countries. According to Similarweb, most users are based in the US (29.64% as of May 2024).

How Does Tidal Define, Collect, and Calculate Its Data?

Data Definitions

  • Streams: Tidal does not provide real-time or detailed stream count data. Currently, no third-party analytics platforms have been identified to easily track music streaming data from Tidal.

  • Listeners’ Interactions and Preferences: Tidal uses machine learning and algorithms based on listeners’ interactions with the app to make song recommendations and playlists.   

  • Playlists: Playlists created by a user are used to help the app recommend new songs and create app playlists. 

 

Data Collection & Calculation

  • User data: Tidal doesn’t utilize any user personal data for model training. Instead, it tracks songs via in-house IDs. Tidal shares extensively its open source codes and training for those who wish to gain a deeper understanding.

  • Tidal uses sequences (limited to the 500 most recent interactions) to curate playlists and suggest songs and artists. To build these lists, Tidal tracks:

    • What songs a user has liked.

    • What songs a user has listened to (must have been fully streamed at least twice before).

    • What songs a user adds to a playlist.

  • My Daily Discovery is a daily updated mix of 10 tracks that are:

    • Highly relevant to the user.

    • Never before streamed by the user on TIDAL.

    • From a diverse set of artists, some known to the user but the majority new.

 

Which Criteria Has the Most Impact?

Key Criteria

  • Music Streams: Songs streamed on Tidal count towards charting. 

  • Video Streams: Officially licensed video plays on the app count towards charting.

  • Live Streaming: Tidal’s live streaming service. 

  • Playlists: User-created playlists.

 

Impact Analysis

  • It seems that the popularity of a song on Tidal is determined through streams and song interactions. However, Tidal recommends songs based both on an individual user’s preferences as well as a complex modeling system that recommends new music to a listener through playlists. Users’ self-made playlists contribute to the songs Tidal recommends on these recommendation playlists. 

​​

Impact of Global Charts

General Impact

All music and video streams from Tidal count directly toward Billboard and other global streaming charts. 

 

 

Impact of Billboard

 

  • Billboard Integration

    • All Tidal music streams count toward Billboard charting with full weight in chart calculations. In addition, officially licensed video plays on the app count towards the Billboard 200 album charts.

    • Its music download store closed in October 2022. 

 

  • Influence on Chart Rankings

    • Tidal premium streams contribute to:

      • Billboard Hot 100

      • Billboard 200

      • Billboard Global 200

      • Billboard Global 200 Excl. U.S.

      • All other streaming-inclusive charts data

 

  • Impact Analysis

Since no free tiers exist, all music streams count towards Billboard charts as on-demand premium streams.  

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Shazam

Note: For an overview on how to use Shazam, see https://straykidscomebackguide.com/streaming#shazam.

Platform Overview

  • Owned by Apple, Shazam is a music identification service that allows users to identify songs that are playing around them, usually through a phone app. After the song is identified, users are able to purchase, add, and stream songs or share links via social media and SMS.

    • Streaming apps you can link to Shazam include Deezer (Android only), Apple Music, Youtube Music, and Spotify.

User Statistics

  • In 2022, Apple confirmed that Shazam had 225 million monthly active users. In 2023, other sources reported that Shazam hit over 300 million monthly active users.

  • Shazam is completely free to use with or without an account.

  • Geographic distribution of users (April 2024)

  • Demographic distribution of users (April 2024)

    • 62.51% male

    • 37.49% female

    • Largest age group: 18-24

How Does Shazam Define, Collect, and Calculate Its Data?

Data Definition

  • Identified songs: Shazam counts the number of times a song is captured and identified by a user.

  • Data Collection Methods & Calculation

    • Users identify songs by allowing the app to capture a 20-second snippet, which it then uses to search its database.

    • Other data Shazam collects include: viewed pages, buttons used, make and model of the device being used, OS version, and IP address/location.

Which Criteria Has the Most Impact?

Key Criteria

  • Criteria that may increase artist exposure and influence the number of times a song is identified on Shazam include: fan encouragement, media usage of a song (radio, TV, film, podcasts, etc.), and artist collaborations with more well-known artists.

Impact Analysis

  • Popularity on Shazam can increase a song’s presence on streaming platform playlists and charts. 

  • When users identify songs on Shazam, they are able to check artist profiles, add music to their library, watch music videos, share track links on social media, and find information about nearby concerts. 

Impact on Global Charts

General Impact

  • Shazam data is used by globally tracked apps such as Apple Music, Amazon, and Spotify when curating playlists and user recommendations. 

Case Studies

  • Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” saw a surge in Shazam numbers after being featured in the Netflix series “Stranger Things.” During the song’s resurgence, it topped Shazam’s Global Top 200 and 25 national charts. 

  • In addition to trending on Tiktok, Nigerian artist CKay became a worldwide sensation after achieving more than 1 million Shazams in a week.

Impact on Billboard

Billboard Integration

  • Shazam metrics are not reported to Billboard for charting purposes.

Influence on Chart Rankings & Impact Analysis

  • In 2022, 20 years after its launch, Shazam achieved over 70 billion song recognitions. In 2016, it was noted that 3-4 songs that were in Shazam’s Top 10 hits would place in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Whether this is still the case has yet to be studied as digital streaming platforms and popularity continue to grow. However, recent cases like Kate Bush and CKay show that there is a role for Shazam in identifying a song that will go from popular trend to Hot 100 hit.

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iHeartRadio
Platform Overview
iHeartRadio is the #1 streaming broadcast radio platform. It is an all-in-one audio service for top radio stations, music streaming, and podcasts that allows the user to listen online via the iHeartRadio website or through the iHeart app.
  • 3,000+ live stations across all genres.  
  • Users can tune in to live and local radio stations from anywhere in the world. iHeartRadio has thousands of curated playlists. They also have free artist stations, where users create personalized music stations for their favorite artists.
  • Basic use is free with subscription services offered including commercial-free radio, no skip limits, on-demand streaming, saving songs from the radio to playlists, instant replay of radio songs, offline listening, and playlist creation. 

User Statistics

Number of Active Users 
The iHeartRadio app has over 167 million registered users (both free and paid) and is available on over 500 platforms and over 2,000 different connected devices — including “smart speakers, digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, smartphones, virtual assistants, televisions, and gaming consoles.”
 
Demographics and Geographic Distribution of Users
  • According to the data aggregation website Similarweb, which analyzes web traffic and performance, as of May 2024, iHeart.com's audience is primarily male (50.17% vs. 49.83% female). The largest age group of visitors is 45-54 with approximately 70% of users between the ages of 35-64.
  • While the majority of iHeartRadio users are in the US, both the app and website are also available in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, and Australia.

How Does iHeartRadio Define, Collect, and Calculate Its Data?

Data Definitions

  • Streams: iHeartRadio does not provide real-time or detailed stream count data. Currently, no third-party analytics platforms have been identified that track music streaming data from iHeartRadio.

  • Playlists: 

    • iHeartRadio curates playlists to “spotlight” various music. Playlist examples include Newly Released, Pop Pulse, Breaking Country, Rock Radar, etc.

    • Personalized playlists are created based on user interactions on the application and provided in its “Recommended for You.”

  • Artist Stations & Music Stations: iHeartRadio users can create personalized artist stations for free using the Artist Radio feature. To create a station, users can enter an artist, genre, or song name, and iHeartRadio will generate a station with similar music. Stations are commercial-free and can be customized by “thumbing up or down” songs that users like or dislike. Over time, iHeartRadio will personalize the station based on these preferences.

 

Data Collection & Calculation

  • Purchase and preference information may be collected. Information may include the artists, stations, podcasts, playlists, and genres the user is interested in; any content purchased, accessed, or downloaded; records of transactions and subscription purchases; and records of contests entered. The platform uses this information to curate and suggest songs and other content that match the user’s interests, including suggesting personalized or localized radio stations, or providing specific features on the platforms.  

  • Users can like or dislike songs while listening to live radio. These types of functions inform iHeart’s algorithm, which can then personalize recommendations and curate personal playlists.

  • No data has been found on how iHeartRadio aggregates and analyzes the data it collects beyond informing its algorithm of users’ preferences. 

  • There is no information on how metrics such as stream counts, likes, and other engagements are used.

Which Criteria Has the Most Impact?

Key Criteria

  • Streams: The number of times a song is streamed by a paid subscription user counts towards charting for Billboard and iHeartRadio charts. 

  • Listener Interactions and Preferences: These influence the curation of playlists and recommendations provided by the application to users.

 

Impact Analysis

  • Billboard Charting: All streams from paid All Access and Plus subscription accounts count toward Billboard charting for the highest possible stream weight. 

  • iHeartRadio Charts:  

    • These charts are broken down by different genres, including Top 40, Alternative Rock, Dance, Rhythmic, Country, etc.

    • The chart’s results are also used to nominate songs for the iHeartRadio Music Awards (more on this in a later section).

Impact on Global Charts

General Impact

iHeartRadio’s subscription tiers’ streams benefit Billboard and other global charts where streaming is taken into account.

Impact on Billboard


Billboard Integration

  • Only on-demand streams from premium (paid subscription) accounts on the iHeartRadio app are reported to Billboard for charting.

    • Note: Free 30-day trials are almost always available in-app and online for iHeart Plus and All-Access tiers. You can also transfer SKZSHRadio playlists to the iHeartRadio app using https://soundiiz.com/

  • According to Billboard, “Plays from the streaming of iHeartRadio’s menu of terrestrial radio stations as well as programmed radio streams are not part of any data being reported to Nielsen or Billboard and will not impact any chart rankings.”

  • No iHeart radio play in-app counts toward Billboard because of reporting differences. 

    • Note: Billboard relies on "audience impressions" instead of a direct number of plays. For airplay, Mediabase tracks plays and cross-references with Nielsen's listener information to calculate audience impressions. With certain exceptions, stations tracked by Mediabase are commercial stations.

 

Influence on Chart Rankings

iHeartRadio premium streams contribute to:

  • Billboard Hot 100

  • Billboard 200

  • Billboard Global 200

  • Billboard Global 200 Excl. U.S.

  • iHeartRadio Chart

  • All other streaming-inclusive charts data

 

Impact Analysis

While there is a free version of iHeartRadio, using it does not appear to benefit Billboard charting. For iHeart to impact Billboard charts, you must have an All Access or Plus subscription. 

SOURCES FOR PART 2
Since we had to recreate the presentation in a format that differs from the previous format as quickly as we could, we still need to go back through and include all citations in their respective places, which will a take considerable amount of time to properly format 213 citations and sources just for Part 2. For now we are including our copy of our Reference Card Sheet so that STAYs can at least look to see what sources were used for each section until we can go back and add all links individually.

We hope offering this for now as a resource while our team continues to move forward with other sections so that we can stay on schedule is sufficient until we can go back through one by one and link sources directly on the presentation. We appreciate your time and understanding as we do our best to provide STAYs with the information and resources they need.
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