Spotify CEO Says Metallica Use Streaming Service’s Data to Select Area-Specific Setlists

  • Axl Rosenberg

Well, this is pretty interesting: to hear Spotify CEO Daniel Ek tell it, at least, Metallica have been using the streaming service’s data to put together the setlist that local fans will most enjoy. So, for example, if they notice that people in New Jersey listen to, I dunno, “Invisible Kid” a lot, guess what’s getting played when the band hits New Jersey?

Quartz reportz that while on a conference call today (presumably to shareholders or something like that), Ek said the following:

“You have an artist like Metallica, who changes their setlist on a city-by-city basis just by looking at Spotify data to see, which the most popular songs happened to be in that city. We’ve never before been at a place in time where you could make as many informed decisions and understand your audience as well as we can do now as an artist.”

Metal Injection notes that Blabbermouth notes that Lars Ulrich made no note of Spotify data during a 2017 discussion of the process by which the band selects which songs they’ll play each night:

“I’ll sit and look at last couple times we played [in the area] — whatever city we’re in, I’ll look at the last 10 years worth of shows from that particular city. Obviously, there’s certain songs we ‘have’ to play, but then there’s the deeper cuts — and the deeper cuts I always try to vary. So if we played ‘Harvester of Sorrow’ the last time, maybe I’ll put ‘Through the Never’ or ‘Breadfan’ or whatever. I try to vary six or eight of the deeper songs so you give fans a different setlist and a different experience. Since I started doing that, it correlates with when we started taping all our shows and we offer them for sale on something called LiveMetallica.com, mixed by the same team that mixes our albums. Since we started doing that in ’03 or ’04, we haven’t played the same setlist twice.”

“It’s not just for the fans, but it’s also for us — it keeps us on our toes.”

So do with that information what you will.

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