How Does Spotify Count Plays And Monthly Listeners?

We are going to be honest with you here for a second – trying to measure the activity on your Spotify account (particularly when it comes to accurate play and monthly listeners figures) can feel like a real uphill battle if you’re only going off of the analytics that Spotify provides in-house to all artists.

You see, while Spotify does a fantastic job when it comes to helping new artists get discovered by listeners all over the world – and also does a great job when it comes to promoting new content – the analytics that they provide can be a little bit hit or miss.

This has to do a lot with the fact that Spotify plays and listener figures are only ever updated once every 24 hours at right around 3 PM Eastern Time.

While that might not seem like a big deal on the surface the fact of the matter is that the timing of your uploads for new content as a huge impact on whether or not you’ll get noticed by the Spotify community and whether or not you have any chance of breakthrough success on Spotify the way some other new artists already have.

This is because if you release brand-new content at say 7 PM Eastern Time you won’t get any new data whatsoever until your music has been on the platform for more than 24 hours – which can really hurt new artists wondering if they are getting the bump in listenership they were looking for.

Spotify has begun to add new algorithms behind the scenes, promoting a real-time stream count solution that’s supposed to provide detailed analytics for new release updates on a 1.5 second basis. However, this kind of in-depth analytics is only available in your Spotify artist portal for the first seven days afternoon content has been updated.

Streams (at least as they are considered by the Spotify platform) are only ever counted after a song has been streamed for at least 30 seconds consecutively. This can be a bit of a problem when you are looking to factor in streams of off-line music, as these streams are only ever going to be recorded the very next time that the user goes online – which can take quite a while, but must be done every 30 days.

Your monthly listener figures are counted on a rolling window that stretches over 28 days. This is done to hopefully normalize monthly listening stats and figures, considering the fact that months of the year do not have a standardized amount of days in them.

28 days was selected to normalize things with days of the week. This way you get an equal number of Mondays, an equal number of Tuesdays, and an equal number of Wednesdays (and so on and so forth) to get a better feel for what your listener data really tells you about your audience, your content, and your promotional efforts.

Detailed analytics regarding followers, saves, canvas viewers, and historical records can also be exported directly from your Spotify for Artists portal as well. It’s always a good idea to export these details as soon as you get an opportunity to do so, and then to continue to export the data every month so that you have hard records you can fall back on should something happen to the Spotify data in the future.

All things considered, Spotify does do a solid job of providing detailed analytics though there are obviously some blind spots you’ll want to cover on your own. This is particularly true when it comes to seeing how well Spotify promotion services and strategies are doing to improve your numbers.