How can I tell how many listeners a given band has?
October 4, 2012 8:23 PM   Subscribe

Is there a music service that shows the number of listeners a given artist has (besides

I'm interested in knowing the relative popularity of given bands. is great for this since it will say Given Band has this many listeners with this many plays.

Is unique in that?

I've barely scratched the surface with Pandora and Spotify, but it seems they don't list listener data (am I wrong?). Rdio is close in that it shows listeners by album, but not overall listeners by artist. Facebook shows likes and talking about numbers, but it's not quite the same. Myspace lists plays, but the data is old (and like Facebook it's limited to official pages). Youtube is too scattered (and reliant on video) to be useful. The iTunes store shows me nothing.

The scrobbling element seems unique also that it reports plays by smaller artists who are not part of the official radio service.

But there are so many services these days, that I've kind of lost track. Is there any other service that shows listeners/plays in a comparable way to
posted by kongg to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Best answer: You may find use in something like Billboard's On-Demand Songs Music Chart. Then you have commercial plays measured by charts such as PPL, but it seems that's not the market you're interested in. See also BBC Radio. Perhaps the Hype Machine Popular list?

For my money (ha, free is what I mean) Last.FM is probably the best metric out there due to the size of its audience and the method of counting scrobbles, but at lower music play rates it's notoriously susceptible to gaming. What you're talking about is actually the same problem that any chart would face -- there are so many different ways to play music now, and the ones that have a public-facing chart interface are inconsistent even internally. The industry relies on sales figures mostly, but of course this is only one customer interaction with the music versus duration/frequency.

If Last.FM is not, then, 100% unique, it is certainly far and away the highest-profile site and largest listener base.
posted by dhartung at 1:28 AM on October 5, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for this, Dan. I guess after all these years no one has really jumped into the scrobbling arena. You would think a large service like Pandora or Spotify could share listener #s, but I guess they feel that's a sideshow to the service they offer .
posted by kongg at 12:44 PM on October 5, 2012

I would not be at all surprised if Pandora, Spotify or any other streaming service does in fact share listener data -- with the licensor of that music. The public, as always, is not the actual customer here.
posted by dhartung at 12:18 AM on October 6, 2012

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