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Music Data Glossary

86 definitions and explanations for all terms music & data.

Tip: Use [Ctrl + F] or [Cmd + F] to find the term you’re looking for.

Talent scouting and overseeing artistic development of recording artists and songwriters.
When a recording is played (over the air) on a radio station.
A set or collection of recordings issued as a single item.
The number of unique listeners in a fifteen minute period that are listening for more than 5 minutes. This term is used in relation to Radio (i.e. Airplay).
The process of inspecting, cleaning, transforming, and modelling in order to draw conclusions about the data and gain meaningful, actionable insights.
A person who performs, records, and releases music. After creating their recording, this person gets a sound recording copyright (i.e. ℗).
The country that an artist feels like they represent the most. This can be where an artist was born, where they are from, where they are currently based, etc.
An algorithmically generated list of music based on an artist.
General characteristics about groups of people (e.g. fans or listeners). Some examples include age, gender, language, and ethnicity.
The affinity of a brand is a measure of how much this audience is interested in the brand compared to the average platform (e.g. Instagram) user.
A numeric measure of the audience’s affinity towards the brand. For example, a brand affinity ratio or score of 2.0x means that followers of this artist are twice as interested in the brand compared to the average platform (e.g. Instagram) user.
The number or percentage of an artist’s followers that also show an interest (i.e. follow, mention, hashtag, or location tag) in a particular brand.
A long-term career view calculated based on the median of the past 360 days of an artist’s Chartmetric Artist Score. Updated twice a week, the word “median” is key here as it focuses on the true “middle value”, ignoring the extremities of a career. In other words, this view concentrates on how the artist performed on average, excluding any outliers, in the past year. More information here.
A short-term metric calculated based on the difference between the past 45-day average and the past 45-day average of an artist’s Chartmetric Artist Score. Updated twice a week, this Career Trend is a relative metric that is calculated within each Career Stage (i.e. Developing artists are compared to each other, not to Superstar artists). More information here.
A visual representation of data, usually meant to show the data and its value in a simplified manner.
A ranking of recorded music over a given period of time, often by some official platform or organization. This is usually based on specific criteria that is determined by the stakeholders of the chart. Many charts are centered on a particular market or genre.
Each time a track is added to a (music) chart.
An artist’s Chartmetric Artist Rank is determined by comparing their Chartmetric score to that of all other artists. This is essentially the artists’ Chartmetric Artist Scores listed in descending order (from highest to lowest). More information here.
An artist’s Chartmetric Artist Score is a weighted average that captures their overall performance across 16 social and streaming platforms. Just like earning points, this number will increase (or decrease) as the artist builds their fanbase and increases engagement with their audience. More information here.
A track’s Chartmetric Track Score is a weighted calculation of historical and 28-day Spotify playlist count. Just like earning points, this number can continue to increase (or decrease).
One listener can stream a song a million times, but a million listeners can also stream a song once. The consumption here is the same – both total one million streams. An example metric would be streams.
Increasing over time as more additions are made. An example of a cumulative metric is streams.
A person that manages a playlist, or station, adding and removing music.
Information that customers (e.g. fans, listeners, etc.) share directly when interacting with a business or brand (e.g. artist, company, etc.). Personal customer data (e.g. first/last name, email address, etc.) is usually considered confidential and cannot be displayed on public platforms.
A visual display of data. A dashboard is a tool that provides a centralized way to display, track, and analyze metrics, data points and key performance indicators (KPIs), allowing for deeper insight and better extraction of relevant information.
Information (that has been arranged in a specific format).
Where the data originates from. An example of a data source in Chartmetric would be TikTok because some of the data available in Chartmetric comes from TikTok.
An online store (e.g. iTunes) or a streaming platform (e.g. Spotify) that provides a digital service (i.e. audio) to consumers.
How closely an audience interacts with an artist, this encompasses an artist’s current relevance and the direct activity they have with their fans. An example metric would be likes.
The component of the Chartmetric Artist Score / Rank that reflects an artist’s current relevance and activity. An artist’s Engagement Rank is calculated from metrics with more immediate, short-term changes. More information here.
This metric helps provide an understanding of how well an audience is engaging with an artist. It is calculated from the average number of likes divided by the number of followers and is available for Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.
The number of Facebook engagements with an artist page. These include but are not limited to tags, merchandise buys, post shares, event “I’m going” clicks, comments.
The component of the Chartmetric Artist Score / Rank that represents an artist’s long-term accumulated audience. An artist’s Fan Base Rank is calculated from cumulative, lifetime metrics. More information here.
Usually composed of an artist’s most loyal audience, these are the fans who have been following an artist for the long term. An example metric would be followers, though likely better measured through unconventional data such as club membership or extensive live ticket and merchandise purchases.
The process of selecting and limiting the data in a dataset to refine it to a more focused view (i.e. subset). Filtering is often done to help make data analysis more effective.
Fans who have opted in to receive future notifications about when an artist releases new material, content, or other updates. This is a good measure of fandom and is likely a major factor in how streaming and social media platforms shape their users’ personalized recommendation algorithms. Followers can be found on Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Bandsintown, and Twitch. Also known as “Subscribers” on YouTube and “Fans” on Deezer and Melon.
This is a native tool or add-on feature of a digital platform that allows an authorized user (e.g. an artist, an artist’s team) to manage their online profile and analyze their audience to better understand their performance on the platform. An example would be Spotify for Artists or Apple Music for Artists.
A categorization system that classifies music into different styles according to distinctive elements, conventions or shared traditions. This is applicable to artists, tracks, albums, playlists or curators. An example of a genre would be Rock or Hip-Hop/Rap.The main genre tags in Chartmetric are sometimes aggregated as a result of the individual genre tags from multiple data sources, but the final result should still communicate the general sound or sonic style.
Information (i.e. data) collected about past events. This is often used to predict future trends.
A deeper, more meaningful understanding (i.e. knowledge or value) that is gained from analyzing data or information.
A 12-digit alphanumeric code that is the standard for uniquely tracking and identifying any individual sound recording or music video recording from all other recordings.  
When people interact online and show their approval (i.e. like) of the shared content (e.g. video, music, post, etc.). This is a good measure of audience engagement. Likes can be found on TikTok and Line Music.
Information that helps improve understanding of how consumers of music (e.g. fans) discover, listen, follow and share the music and artists they love. This is usually considered public information and can be displayed on public platforms (like Chartmetric) – a clear distinction from personal customer data and revenue data.
This is the background information of data – “the data that describes the data”. In music terms, metadata is the information and context about the recording. It describes the audio objectively (e.g. track name, release date, etc.), subjectively (e.g. mood tags, genre tags, etc.), and identifies who owns it (i.e. gets paid). The metadata is part of the recorded audio file and is crucial as it allows the recording to be tracked and identified properly.
The total number of unique users that have played an artist’s material at least once in the past 28 days (i.e. “monthly”). This is a good measure of reach. Monthly listeners can be found on Spotify and Pandora.
Many DSPs allow artists to claim their artist channel, sometimes indicated by a blue tick.
The first date that the highest ranking in the chart was reached.
The highest ranking or placement ever reached in the chart or playlist.
A list of songs, usually collected together according to a particular theme or concept (e.g. mood, genre, event, activity, etc.).
A type of playlist, curated solely by the platform, where the playlist content (e.g. tracks, track positions, etc.) is generated entirely based on algorithmic recommendations.
Chartmetric definition: A playlist categorization where more than 75% of the current tracks are over 18 months old (i.e. less than 25% of the current tracks are under 18 months old).
A type of playlist curated solely by the platform (e.g. Spotify).
Chartmetric definition: A playlist categorization where more than 75% of the current tracks are less than 18 months old (i.e. less than 25% of the current tracks are over 18 months old).
A type of playlist, curated solely by the platform, where the playlist content (e.g. tracks, track positions, etc.) may change for each listener based on their individual musical tastes and preferences.
The total number of playlists that an artist is on.
The sum total of the number of followers of every playlist an artist is on.
Information relating to an artist’s identity, including their gender, pronouns and whether they are a solo or group act. Pronouns should be updated according to how the artist wishes to be referred to (e.g. in a magazine, in an interview).
A person, organization, or company that is legally authorized to license and administer the composition copyright of a musical work.
An advertising industry term indicating how many unique people are reached. Frequently juxtaposed to consumption or engagement metrics.The difference between one listener streaming one song a million times and a million listeners streaming a song once is in the number of people the song is reaching (i.e. 1 vs 1M listeners). An example metric would be monthly listeners.
A company that develops, finances, markets, and, ultimately, monetizes the recordings of its (signed) musicians and artists.
The first day that the content (e.g. track, album, etc.) was officially made physically or digitally available to the public.
Information about or connected to the total income generated. This is usually considered confidential and cannot be displayed on public platforms. An example would be an artist’s total streams, as this can be converted into a monetary figure.
An automated process that interprets whether the emotion captured within text (e.g. YouTube video comments) contains a (very) positive, neutral, or negative feeling.
A person who writes or creates (i.e. composes) the musical elements (e.g. melodies, lyrics, chord progressions) of a song. After creating their work, this person gets a composition copyright.
The process of arranging data into a meaningful order, usually according to a linear relationship between the data points (e.g. ascending, descending, alphabetical, chronological, etc.). Sorting is often done to help make data analysis more effective.
The number of times a recording is played (over the air) on a radio station. Essentially the radio version of streams.
This metric is calculated by dividing followers by monthly listeners. Not all followers are listeners, but this ratio shows how effectively the artist is capturing their audience – those who listen to the music. The higher the percentage, the better the artist is at “converting” listeners to followers on the platform.
This number is a ranking that is created by Spotify and determines how popular an artist is on the Spotify platform. 0 is the lowest and 100 is the highest level of popularity attainable. This normalized value is likely based on several factors such as playlist reach and stream counts and it dynamically changes to rank all the artists on Spotify at any given time. More information here.
A number of data.
When someone listens to a track on a streaming platform for at least 30 seconds, this is considered 1 stream. This metric is a good measure of consumption.
A subcategory of a genre. It still has the basic characteristics of the genre, but it also has its own distinctive style or features that make it recognizable within the genre. An example of a sub-genre would be Country Rock or Melodic Rap.
(Data referring to) when an artist’s tracks are combined with visual media (e.g. TV, movie, game, advertisement, etc.).
A single piece of music on an album (e.g. a song).
The period of time between today and when the track was released.
The number of tracks on an album.
An algorithmically generated list of music based on a track.
The general direction (i.e. upwards or downwards) that the data is moving over time. Sometimes this results in a pattern.
Cities around the world that “trigger” favorable algorithmic effects on streaming platforms and help grow an artist’s audience reach worldwide. These cities are usually in Latin America or South East Asia, but can be anywhere (also been found in South Asia and Eastern Europe).
Key characteristics of these cities include high music streaming consumption (likely due to high population density, high mobile usage, closeness of the community, advanced use of social media, etc.) and diverse music tastes (not just domestic repertoire). These cities also frequently feature low digital advertising costs. More information here.
(Data referring to) when an artist appeared in-person on TV.
Reposted or forwarded messages on Twitter. These can be used as a measure of the number of Twitter engagements with an artist page.
Anything made by a user, e.g. a TikTok video, a social media post.
A 12-digit serial number primarily used in the US and Canada that uniquely tracks and identifies a specific product (e.g. your album) from all other products. This is the same as an EAN (European / International Article Number), except the EAN is 13 digits and primarily used outside of the US and Canada.
When any content (e.g. page, video, etc.) is watched or seen (i.e. viewed). This is a good measure of audience interest or curiosity. Views can be found on YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitch, and Genius.
The (absolute or percentage) difference in the statistic from X number (i.e. 7, 14 or 28) of days ago.
This shows the direction and speed at which a track has moved since seven days ago.
This metric provides insight into how often tracks get added to a playlist within the past 28 days. 100% denotes a playlist that has completely changed in the past month, while 0% denotes a purely static playlist (i.e. no change). This provides a way to sort through and find the playlists that may be more receptive to the pitching of new content.
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