Spotify’s CEO, Daniel Ek, has recently stated that legendary thrash metal band Metallica uses the streaming service’s data from each city they perform in to determine their set-list. Ek reportedly made this statement in a company earning’s call on Thursday, July 26, according to Consequence of Sound.
“You have an artist like Metallica, who changes their setlist on a city-by-city basis just by looking at Spotify data to see, which the most popular songs happened to be in that city,” Ek stated according to the report. “We’ve never before been at a place in time where you could make as many informed decisions and understand your audience as well as we can do now as an artist.”
As of now, Metallica has not confirmed this information, and the set-lists show little variation from city to city, with maybe one or two-songs being changed throughout each set-list. If the band confirms they are using this data for their tours, then it could possibly open new avenues for better artist to audience interaction, since artists would know which songs are popular among a crowd in a given city.
This would also be pretty ironic, considering the band’s troubled history with digital music services, such as the peer-to-peer(P2P)based Napster in 2000. The resulting US District Court Case Metallica V. Napster Inc. was sided in the band’s favor, with the federal judge declaring that the P2P based network needed to place a filter on their program preventing users from sharing songs by artists who did not want their catalog shared with others.
Eventually Napster declared bankruptcy in 2002, and was forced to liquidate its assets in light of the entire debacle. The case still remains controversial, around the same time of the court case, a study was released showing that Napster users may have actually spent more money on music than non-users.
Back in May, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett spoke on the controversy, arguing that not enough artists sided with them during this time. “I was very disappointed that other musicians who saw our point, they supported us in ways that were less inconvenient to them,” Hammett argued. “We stuck our necks out there. At the end of the day, I’d like to say what we were doing had some merit – some truth to it. From that point on, everyone who cares has seen the music industry go on this total downward spiral.”
Metallica just ended the European leg of their WorldWired tour in May, which began in Lisbon, Portugal back in February. The North American leg of the 2018 tour will begin in September in Madison, Wisconsin and is set to end in March of 2019 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This tour is in promotion of their 2016 album Hardwired…To Self Destruct.
In addition, the band will be performing at the Austin City Limits music festival in October, alongside headliners such as Paul McCartney and the Arctic Monkeys. The festival is set to take place from October 5-7 and October 12-14.
Photo Credit: Mauricio Alvarado