12 Days of Data 2022 Day 12: Top Songs on Spotify Playlists


Welcome to the 12 Days of Data 2022 Edition, our look back at the data that made marketing in 2022. We’re looking at the year that was (and oh, what a year it was, something we’ve been saying for three years straight now…) from an analytics perspective to see what insights we can take into the next year. Sit up, get your coffee ready, and let’s celebrate some data and look forward to the year ahead.


Spotify Wrapped, Planetary Edition

One of the amazing things about publicly available marketing data is just how many different uses there are for it. We use marketing data all the time for content ideation, optimization, trend forecasting, and so on, but we rarely stop to think just how much data is available to us. As a fun illustration of this for the last day of the 12 Days of Data, let’s look at the top songs on Spotify Playlists.

Every Spotify playlist has the same URL structure – open.spotify.com/playlist/id, where id is an encoded string of letters and numbers. Every time someone shares a link to a Spotify playlist publicly on a web page, in a forum, or on social media, data collection tools like SEO tools can see that. So we did what was natural and downloaded hundreds of thousands of links to Spotify playlists to see what people are sharing most.

Key Statistics : Playlists

First, how many playlists are we talking about? In 2022, we were able to spot 180,888 unique links to Spotify playlists that hadn’t been seen before this year.

Top Spotify Playlist Landing Pages

From those, we sampled the top 42,160 based on traffic to the landing page the playlist was on.

Top Spotify Playlist URLs

The top 5 most linked playlists?

  1. Original Bedtime Tunes, 5,327 links
  2. 2022 MAMA Awards, 2,787 links
  3. Royalty-free Relaxing Music, 1,627 links
  4. Da Hot Spot for New Music, 1,554 links
  5. The Ones, 1,230 links

So those were the individual playlists that did the best this year.

Let’s take a moment to dig into some information about the playlists. What were the top playlist words and phrases? How do people talk about their playlists?

Top Single Words in Playlists

The top single words in playlist names are:

  1. Playlist
  2. 2022
  3. Music
  4. Songs
  5. de (a multilingual stopword)
  6. Top
  7. Radio
  8. 1
  9. 2021
  10. Hits

As we know from natural language processing, sometimes we will find more useful information in phrases.

Top phrases in playlists

The top two-word phrases in playlist names are:

  1. Hip hop
  2. Official playlist
  3. Jan Utbult
  4. Theatre trip
  5. Audition songs
  6. Song contest
  7. Road trip
  8. Eurovision song
  9. Ulrik Lundström
  10. Cocktail hour

Finally, sometimes only a picture will do, and in this case, that’s emoji in playlist names.

Top emoji in playlist names

The top emoji in playlist names:

  1. 🔥 (fire)
  2. ✨ (sparkles)
  3. 🎶 (musical notes)
  4. ❤️ (heart)
  5. 🎄 (christmas tree)
  6. 🪄 (magic wand)
  7. ⚡️ (zap)
  8. 🎧 (headphones)
  9. 📣 (loud sound)
  10. 🎵 (musical note)

Of these, fire dominates the charts.

Key Statistics : Songs

If we add up every unique song on those 45,000 lists, what were the most listed songs of 2022?

Top Songs of 2022

In the top 10 most-listed songs of 2022:

  1. Blinding Lights by The Weeknd, 817 listings
  2. Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey, 725 listings
  3. September by Earth, Wind & Fire, 705 listings
  4. As It Was by Harry Styles, 673 listings
  5. Africa by TOTO, 661 listings
  6. Dancing Queen by ABBA, 654 listings
  7. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) by Whitney Houston, 653 listings
  8. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, 636 listings
  9. Mr. Brightside by The Killers, 611 listings
  10. Heat Waves by Glass Animals, 587 listings

Get the top 30 songs as a single playlist.

Note that just because a song is most listed in 2022 doesn’t mean that song was released in 2022. Many of these songs are… quite earlier than 2022. In fact, judging by the songs on the list, it’s fair to say that people who share playlists publicly, in ways that can be detected by search engines, definitely fall in the GenX generation if the music is any guide.

That brings us to the top artists of 2022. Which artists overall were most listed in 2022?

Top Artists of 2022

In the top 10 most-listed musical artists of 2022:

  1. Taylor Swift, 11,447 listings
  2. The Beatles, 11,304 listings
  3. Die drei, 9,110 listings
  4. The Rolling Stones, 7,775 listings
  5. Queen, 7,412 listings
  6. David Bowie, 7,165 listings
  7. Drake, 5,893 listings
  8. Michael Jackson, 5,710 listings
  9. Beyoncé, 5,629 listings
  10. Ed Sheeran, 5,575 listings

So What?

Even though this is a fun exploration, it still underscores the very real fact that creating data-driven content is within your reach. Publicly available data makes it straightforward to find information, process it with your own unique point of view or twist, and share it with an interested audience.

Want to listen to the top songs? We put them together in one playlist here.

This concludes the 2022 edition of the 12 Days of Data. Thanks for reading it, sharing it, and using ideas from it to improve your own marketing.

Methodology Statement

Trust Insights extracted 5,203,703 songs from 42,160 Spotify playlists, discovered using the AHREFS SEO software. After de-duplicating within each list, 180,888 songs formed the corpus for the analysis. The timeframe of the dataset is 1 January 2022 – 15 December 2022. The date of the study is 16 December 2022. Trust Insights is the sole sponsor of the study and neither gave nor received compensation for data used, beyond applicable service fees to software vendors, and declares no competing interests.


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