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The Secret Sauce in Spotify’s Top Tracks

What makes a top song? Does it make you dance, raise your spirits, or simply make you feel alive? Pooja Gandhi explored audio features of top songs, comparing their characteristics in a series of scatterplots.

Believe it or not, this visualization came to be as a result of a dare—a #DuoDare to be specific—where she and her friend, Adam Crahen, exchanged data sets and did a viz-off. And what better data set for a viz-off than music data? See definitions for each of these audio features.

Explore the visualization

  • Click on a mark on the top half of the Danceability chart to see the songs that move you.
  • Top songs aren’t always loud. Click on the marks in the bottom half of the Loudness chart to find the tracks that were subtle, but effective.
  • Liveness detects the presence of an audience in the recording. Click on the outlier in the Liveness chart to see which track rises above the rest.

I traveled a lot during those months and Spotify always came in handy to keep me energized and happy on the way to work.

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