Digital Media

Spotify combs deeper inside data for musical insights

In a new blog, the streaming service will tease out trends about how the world listens to music by combining its listening data with intelligence from new unit Echo Nest.

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A new blog from Spotify will draw on data to highlight how the world is listening to music. Spotify

Spotify is jumping into the blogging business.

On Wednesday, the Sweden-based streaming music service said it will be launching the Spotify Insights data blog. The new blog will feature articles about music and how people experience it, pulling from the company's own listening data and music intelligence from the Echo Nest, the technology company it bought in March that powers Web radio, recommendations, and playlists.

"It will create new ways for people to listen," said Eliot van Buskirk, Spotify's "data storyteller" who runs the team handling the new blog and who previously helped lead a similar effort at Echo Nest. "It can be daunting when there is so much music out there."

With streaming music services like Spotify growing in popularity, their catalogs of tens of millions of songs have solved one problem for consumers -- access to nearly all the music in the world without breaking the bank -- only to create another: With all that music at customers' fingertips, how do they find the songs they like but don't yet know?

Solving the perfect personalization pickle is the Holy Grail for companies like Spotify, as well as video compatriots like Netflix and YouTube. Spotify's effort to solve the problem was a large factor in its takeover of Echo Nest this year.

The idea of a blog like the one Spotify is launching isn't new. Spotify has shared its listening data before, and the Echo Nest produced a blog quite similar when it was a standalone company, which may ring a bell for the "Music Fans' Most Distinctive Artists by State" post that suffused social networks earlier this year.

But the joining of Echo Nest's music intelligence with Spotify's global listening data is fresh.

"It's a great combination," said van Buskirk. "For example, we were trying to figure out what music do people associate with road trips. You can do this for all kinds of things that people make playlists for."

Van Buskirk said his editorial team plans to post items a couple times a week.

The first post, "How Music Migrated from Berlin, London and Paris," includes an interactive microsite to further show how genres like London-originated Pub Rock have been embraced by cities like Portland, Ore.