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> Spotifycharts, where seven days do not equal one week?
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post Jul 9 2019, 08:34 AM
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Following my recent interest in compiling a daily retro chart by using the Spotify daily chart, it occurred to me that if a particular song only missed the Top 200 daily chart on a single day during the chart week then I should be able to deduce that days stream total by using the weekly total and subtracting the sum of the daily totals for the other 6 days.

Before I tried this I wanted to check that 7 daily totals did in fact equal one weekly total, even though I had no reason to suspect otherwise (my genealogist's instinct to verify even the most obvious facts was kicking in).

I tried it on Mr Brightside for the week ending 4th July, and by adding the daily totals I got 974296, but the weekly chart has 980451. So then I tried it with Wonderwall, and the sum of 7 days was 525477, but the weekly chart gives 528296. Mr Brightside had some 4155 extra streams (or an additional 0.00426%) in the week, that seemingly didn't happen on any of the 7 days within that week. Wonderwall had 2549 extra streams, or a additional 0.00485%. So then I thought that either there is a reasonably consistent multiplier between the daily and weekly charts (averaging 1.0045 on the evidence of my tiny sample of two tracks from week), or maybe it has to do with multiple versions of a track being available and only one of them streaming enough to hit the Top 200, so I decided to pick a recent song with only one version available on UK Spotify (at least as far as I can tell), and ended up trying Senorita.

The sum of Senorita's seven days' totals was 3496176, and allowing for a multiplier, if such existed, I might have expected somewhere between 3510860 and 3512958 for the total on the weekly chart. In fact the weekly chart shows 3649615, which would be a multipier of 1.0439, or a 10x larger effect for this track (extra 4.3% versus extra 0.45ish%.

All this seems very odd. I know that Spotify has a 'formula' to protect against fraudulant fake plays etc, but you'd think a discrepancy between the sum of the days and the final weekly figure would be that the weekly figure was slightly lower than the sum of the daily figures, not higher. I also checked that the 'sales' period wasn't misaligned by a day in either direction (perhaps Thursday data is being generated at the same time as the weekly and doesn't get included in the right week? etc), but that doesn't seem to be the case either. Any ideas?
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post Jul 9 2019, 09:52 AM
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I noticed this some years ago myself. A guess of mine is that it could be to do with offline plays that don't get submitted within the same day - as in, if you listen to some tracks offline then don't go back online until a few days later, by then it's too late for them to count to the daily chart, but not too late for the weekly chart. (Unless Spotify assign delayed submissions to the day they're submitted not played; I have no idea.)

It does produce a larger effect than I'd expect there to be from that though. If you're curious, I checked the daily/weekly differences for all the songs that charted all 7 days last week, and the highest and lowest 'multipliers' are:

1.2117 - Mad Love by Mabel
1.1188 - It's You by Ali Gatie
1.0749 - Not Today (feat. Dappy & Tory Lanez) by The Plug
1.0721 - Lalala by Y2K
1.0697 - Ransom by Lil Tecca
1.0491 - Big Mood by K-Trap
1.0439 - Señorita by Shawn Mendes
1.0432 - Beautiful People (feat. Khalid) by Ed Sheeran
1.0427 - Don't Check On Me (feat. Justin Bieber & Ink) by Chris Brown
1.0410 - Hate Me (with Juice WRLD) by Ellie Goulding

1.0034 - Butterflies by AJ Tracey
1.0032 - Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
1.0031 - Bohemian Rhapsody - Remastered 2011 by Queen
1.0029 - Nice For What by Drake
1.0028 - Everywhere - 2017 Remaster by Fleetwood Mac
1.0027 - SICKO MODE by Travis Scott
1.0024 - Party In The U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus
1.0021 - Go Your Own Way - 2004 Remaster by Fleetwood Mac
1.0021 - Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
1.0018 - In My Feelings by Drake

The top list being mostly very new and the bottom list old is worth noting, but there could be countless explanations. For example, I would guess new ones are more likely to have repeat plays, and maybe the weekly charts could have a slightly less strict cap or something (since the numbers are bigger so it's harder to manipulate things?).

It wouldn't surprise me if the weekly charts begin/end at a slightly different time of day to the daily charts, or if the daily charts cut off at 11:50pm or something and the last 10 minutes are only included in the weekly charts, but in both cases I don't think that would be the answer here, as every song's weekly figure is higher, and not at a consistent rate.

On the note of the 'formula' against inflated plays, I think that applies to the charts but not the playcounts within Spotify - or if the playcounts have a cap, I think it's looser. I noticed when Lady Gaga's 'Perfect Illusion', a song likely to have a lot of repeat fan plays, came out, that the amount its total increased by each day was greater than its numbers on the charts (the difference peaking in the first few days then diminishing), and I believe I've seen similar observations from other people with other major releases since. Furthermore, a fun fact that's probably not well-known is that there are (at least) 3 white noise tracks that have accumulated over 100 million plays:

I think those totals are likely helped by them being put on repeat (which makes sense as, if you want some white noise while you sleep/relax/whatever, a single track is probably as good as, if not better than, a ~diverse sampler~ of white noise). 'White Noise - 500 hz' has been flying up with 95 million plays since the start of the year, enough that it could probably bubble into the worldwide top 200 every now and then (if a song had been #200 every day of the year so far, that would amount to about 120 million plays), but it's never appeared on any charts. Furthermore, on, it has an average of 85 scrobbles per listener (and the 'White Noise Machine' one, which has been around much longer, has an average of 355), whereas regular hits tend to land around 5-15 to my knowledge.

This post has been edited by Rush: Jul 9 2019, 09:55 AM
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