Data Visualization on Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Playlists

Posted on Sep 25, 2020
The skills I demoed here can be learned through taking Data Science with Machine Learning bootcamp with NYC Data Science Academy.

 The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - Cleveland, Ohio                The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - Cleveland, Ohio    

  LinkedIn.                           GitHub                          Rock Hall on Spotify App

About the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock & Roll of Fame is a museum that celebrates the history of Rock & Roll, including all of its roots and branches.  The mission of the Rock Hall is to engage teach and inspire through the power of Rock & Roll.  The museum has over 30,000 data artifacts in its collection.  Since opening its doors in 1995, over 700,000 people have visited the Rock & Roll of Fame.


Data Visualization on Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Playlists

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Spotify

At the time of this blog’s writing, the Rock Hall had 257 playlists.  While I interviewed Rock & Roll of Fame Education Director Mandy Smith, Mandy listed the following reasons for using Spotify.

  1. Spotify is easily accessible.  Most people have the app on their phone and/or home computer. 
  2. The Spotify platform is already set-up.  All you have to do is Create your username and start creating public playlists.  The Rock Hall can even create their own covers for their Playlists.
  3. Spotify has many users, with 248 million monthly active users and 113 million subscribers.
  4. Spotify is popular with the younger demographic.  The Rock Hall is constantly assessing ways they can engage and cater to a younger demographic. 

Data Visualization on Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Playlists

Who Makes the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Spotify Playlists

Not just one team or group of people is responsible for making the Rock Hall playlists.  

The different departments who have contributed to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Spotify are:

  • Education
  • Visitor Engagement
  • Curatorial
  • Advertising

These playlists, also found under the Spotify Profile Rock & Roll Hall of Fame were not compiled by Rock Hall staff:

  • Artist Picks (playlists picked by guest artists)
  • Museum Guest Requests (compiled during Special Events)

Data on Different Types of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Playlists

In Memoriam / Honoring

  • To honor an artist who recently passed away

Career Defining Playlists

  • A chronologically curated list of about 20 songs for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees (consisting of current and past Inductees)  
  • These playlists are also created for current nominees after the nominee announcement (playlist kept public if nominee is inducted, otherwise taken down until artist is again nominated)

Event Specific

  • Rock Hall Nights is a program that happens in the non-summer months where people can come to the museum at night, enjoy a drink, and participate in activities centered around a theme
  • Hosted event to celebrate the Major League Baseball All-Star Game (when All-Star Game was played in Cleveland)
  • For a few playlists, museum guests picked the playlist/requested songs during a Rock Hall Event
  • Guest Sets were a short-lived event, where artists picked their own playlists (these were compiled by the Guest Artist themselves, not by the Rock Hall Staff)

A visual sample of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Playlists: 

Data Visualization on Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Playlists

Data Gathering

Data was gathered directly from Spotify using the ‘spotipy’ package in Python.  The following data was retrieved:

  • Playlist Order
  • Origin Album Track Number
  • Playlist Name
  • Track Name
  • Find Artists
  • Track Length
  • Track Popularity Index**

**Track Popularity Index - value between 0 and 100  (100 is most popular).
                      Calculated by algorithm, mostly based on:
                          1. Total number of times the track has been played
                          2. How recent are the track plays

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Shiny App

The App was made using R’s Shiny Dashboard.

There are four sections to the Shiny App, accessible via tabs located on the left side of the app.

Here is what you can find in each tab. 

The Data

  • A searchable table containing all playlists.

Artist Frequency

  • Learn Which Artists have the Most Tracks
  • Discover Which Artists Appear on the Greatest Number of Playlists

Data on Spotify's Popularity Rating

  • Find the Top Tracks by Spotify's Popularity Index
  • Explore the Average Playlist Scores (Where All Playlist Tracks Are Averaged Together)

Career Defining Playlists

  • Able to choose any inductees Career Defining Playlist
  • All Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Career Defining Playlists are chronologically ordered, historical explorations of each artists career. This tab allows a user to explore the popularity trends for a Rock Hall inductees defining tracks  (remember, popularity based on current Spotify listening trends)


About Author

Gregory Weber

Greg is a Certified Data Science Professional with a background in Mathematics, Education, Music and a passion for creating valuable insights through data. He enjoys and excels in presenting data analysis and implementing solutions across collaborative organizations. Greg...
View all posts by Gregory Weber >

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