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Research Talk by Hannes Datta, Tilburg University (NL)

23/03/2022

As a third guest speaker in our Seminar Series, Hannes Datta, Associate Professor of Marketing at Tilburg University, presented his and his coauthors’ work on demand drivers for Spotify playlists.

Today, online platforms play an important role in society and the economy, and they started to dominate many industries (e.g., Amazon for online retailing, Meta for social media, etc.).  In the music industry, platforms have overtaken traditional revenue streams of content producers. The key driver of this success are playlists. They are not only the main revenue generator for platforms, but also the key tool to expand the platform’s empire. Despite their importance, we know little about the drivers of playlist consumption.

In his study, Hannes and his coauthors investigate the drivers of playlist demand on Spotify, which is the leading music-streaming platform. Their analysis relies on a model that decomposes demand into three major drivers, namely persistent, time-invariant user preferences for playlists, users’ responsiveness to featured playlists, and the popularity of tracks on a playlist. The results show that users have strong, persistent tastes for playlists owned and curated by Spotify, users value prominently featured playlists, but they respond less strongly to the addition or removal of (popular) tracks on a playlist.

This research gives insights into users’ preferences for Spotify playlists and informs service providers how to best structure their playlists such that existing users stay, and more users are attracted to the platform.

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