Spotify Launches Music Charts

Service turns to data to stand out among competitors

A year after Spotify data began appearing in Billboard's Hot 100, the Sweden-based music streaming service has launched charts of its own.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Spotify will rank the most popular of the 20 million tracks in its database, showcasing them in embeddable playlists. The Spotify 50 and the Social 50 will display Spotify's most streamed and top-shared tracks in widgets meant to be posted on media sites. The charts can be configured by region, showing data for Spotify's 28 different territories in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

The move is an effort to expand Spotify's user base, which totals 24 million active members and 6 million paid subscribers. By contrast, ad-supported internet radio Pandora has netted more than 200 million registered users. The service also faces mounting competition from Google Play: All Access and Apple's upcoming iRadio.

Spotify has also begun displaying play counts for individual tracks, which reflect global plays since October 2008.

"We want to be the best artist promotional platform in the world and showing play counts is a clear step in that direction," Spotify head of content Steve Savoca told the Journal. "Now artists can get immediate feedback from their fans on how their music is performing on Spotify."

Spotify wants to track users' listening and social media habits in an effort to "break" new talent, according to The Verge. This might give the company more leverage in renegotiating its contracts with the record labels, which currently take the lion's share of Spotify's revenue.

"Data is our secret sauce," Spotify's head of U.S. operations Ken Parks told the Journal.

Billboard is owned by Adweek parent Guggenheim Digital Media.