I am a user of last.fm since 2005 and I’ve always tried to scrobble as much music as possible (34.711 songs scrobbled at present). Last.fm let’s you have an historical archive of your music listening habits, which is cool but I always missed to have an overview from the point of view of the artist. Is a musician being listened more than last year? Is an artist more listened after an album release? What happens when they are on tour? Could we visualize a change on a listener’s behavior due to specific events?

One effect I wanted to visualize is a likely increase of the artist’s playcounts after he dies. One can assume that the number of playcounts increase, but how long does this effect? Which artists get the greatest increase on their playcounts? So I built a data visualization in order to get some insight about the effects of an artist’s death:
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The data visualization let’s you select an artist and display what happened to his charts, showing data two months before and two months after the date of death. Also is interesting to display what happens to the top songs during the period of time around the date of the death.
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Want to compare artists and the changes in their weekly playcounts? Below there is a chart showing weekly percentual changes relative to the average amount of playcounts during the previous 8 weeks to the death date:

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And finally it’s also interesting to show several artists sorted by his increase in the playcounts, showing the differences of the same effect through the artist:

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Last.fm as a social music service offers interesting possibilities to model some behaviors from its users. Let’s see if the platform offers data-driven features in the future so we can get global facts from this community.

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Data Visualization · Interactive · HCI · Open Data · Data Science · Digital Humanities


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