Brilliant Apple Music Playlist Detects Rising Songs, Artists Using Data from Shazam

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Apple has launched a new “Shazam Discovery” playlist on Apple Music that uses data from the music discovery platform to highlight up-and-coming and breaking artists. But in addition to allowing users to discover interesting music, the new playlist also gives us an insight into how Apple is leveraging its acquisition of Shazam and the data its app produces.

Shazam Discovery

Shazam Discovery is currently live in Apple Music’s Browse tab. Currently, some of the top tracks on the playlist include osongs from A$ton Wyld, Tones and I, Ohana Bam and Regard.

Apple describes the playlist as being “powered by Shazams from around the world and updated once a week.” It notes that the playlist will highlight “up-and-coming songs from breaking artists,” suggesting that it’s meant to track popularity ahead of the curve.

The playlist, which is being highlighted today across the Apple Music platform, will be updated once a week with current Shazam data.

While it’s a cool playlist for sure, the underlying data that it uses may actually be a lot more important than the fact that users can find new artists.

Apple’s Usage of Shazam

Apple hasn’t revealed what type of data Shazam produces or how it calculates new artists. But in a statement to Variety, it said that “Shazam’s proprietary algorithms (offer) a unique predictive view on rising artists and reacting tracks to Apple Music subscribers.”

A report from TechCrunch, on the other hand, suggests that Apple bases the playlist on how many “Shazams” a particular track gets. In other words, how many times users open up Shazam and try to identify the track.

As the publication notes, that’s a widely different metric than traditional charts use. On the other hand, it appears to be better-suited for identifying and highlighting up-and-coming artists. Just consider that the platform sees 200 million Shazams a day.

Songs show up on the Shazam Discovery chart through a variety of metrics, like how quickly it’s getting popular or where in the world people are Shazaming it.

Apple first purchased Shazam for $400 million back in 2017. And at the time, it was thought to be a move aimed at adding new features to Apple Music’s end user experience.

But the use of Shazam for its Apple Music chart illustrates one of the major reasons why Apple acquired the platform. Not for consumer-facing music recognition or AR experiences, but instead for the deep insights into trending music it could offer the company’s streaming service.

This isn’t the only way that Apple has used Shazam since it purchased the UK firm. Earlier this month, the Cupertino tech giant launched a new Music for Artists dashboard, a musician-targeted platform that uses Shazam data. Apple is also apparently using Shazam to promote its upcoming Apple TV+ platform.

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