Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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Of Nuggets And Tenders. To Know Or Not To Know, Is Not The Question. How To Become, Is.

Join us at GoSwifties.com

It happened truly by accident, that what began as a pure data and analytical indulgence, became something interesting, at least to us here at GoSwifties. We were interested in the art but also the graft of what it takes to succeed in the business of music, films, entertainment, and the like. It always seemed like luck and frivolity but it could not be far from the truth. Hard working people lift celebrities to great heights, largely unseen…


This is a long read; at least, a long read by recent standards. While this is not an academic or journal document, there will be aspects to it that will echo one.


To understand the talent, effort, productivity, and necessities to achieve success in the music business. In doing so, we aimed to create an index or a ranking that is purely data driven and sourced from activities and output of the artists match with the actual engagements of listeners and fans.

We called it the GoSwifties Hardest Working Artist Index.

Method And Methodology.

While we understood that there are many aspects and considerations to success, notwithstanding the impact of luck, good fortune, being in the right place and the right time, endowments, providence, and other things that lie outside raw effort and talent, this study aimed to normalise these into data that is both available and accessible with minimal constraint and whose analyses will be easier to disseminate in detail.

Shortcuts or simplifications were made, for example, instead of giving weight to rankings, raw statistical count of presence in so called ‘podium’ places ranks of 1-3 all had equal weight. They are all hardworking and talented; in a way, once you are in the top 3, the differences were negligible, and all had 1 index point, so to speak.

There are other possible bases for anchor data and correlations, but we chose the Spotify Top Streams as the main data source for this study. It is a well known and widely accepted source of music popularity and success, and it is also a good source of data for the study of music success.

In the end, it was done out of our own curiosity, for fun, and for the pursuit of knowledge and understanding. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


Our mission is not to promote Taylor Swift or any artist, per se, but to be a nexus or relay for others out there who not only are inspired as a fan, but hopefully feel the calling of being a part of the music business, or any business for that matter, to be a part of the success of others, and to be a part of the success of the business itself.


We limited our study to the Top 25 Streamed Spotify Artists Of All Time, ending in 15 May 2024. It is understood that things change but the Top 25 has less volatility than the Top 100, and it is easier to manage and analyse.

1. Raw data feeds were cleaned for formatting and consistency, and were then processed for analysis.

2. This baseline was then enhanced by other details relevant to computationally derived playlists per artist called the This Is “Artist” suggested by the Spotify platform, where “Artist” is a placeholder for actual artists, musicians, and others.

3. As an added correlation data set, we lined up relevant YouTube statistics and attributes with the Spotify data, and then processed them for analysis.

4. Raw descriptive statistics and ranking was made from apparent column attributes. But in addition, some basic ratios and indices were computed to give a more nuanced view of the data. For example, the ratio between the number of Likes vs the number of Songs or Followers, or the ratio between the number of Songs vs the number of Followers, or the ratio between the number of Followers vs the number of Songs.

5. Finally, a rudimentary index was computed to give a relative measure of success, effort, and talent based on the raw raking and the computed ratios identified.

The main objective, if not entirely precise, was to gauge relative Yield of Effort and Talent along with present sentiment, interest, and listener or fan base activity.


The results were interesting, to say the least. While the Top 25 were all successful, the relative success, effort, and talent were not as clear cut as one would think. Some were clearly more successful, but some were clearly more talented; and some were clearly more hardworking in terms of raw output as Lead or Primary artist while in some situations, collaborations with other artists have a differentiating ingredient to success.


It is difficult, and almost a disservice to the artistry of the artists, to say that one is more talented than the other, or one is more successful than the other. As a solution to this quandary, we did a simple cutover of the data to give a relative index of success, effort, and talent, and then ranked them accordingly. As long as one gains podium position, sub-ranking within it does not matter. In this way, consistency over time and across different data sets can be normalised and compared.


An Idea.

We have often wondered about the truths and basis for the honours, awards, and adulations people receive for their works, achievements, and contributions to, well, whatever it is or was doing.

Some are clearly ceremonial, befitting only those entitled with the luck of the draw in life like that of royalty and the privileged or entitled. Others are more apparent within the craft and profession, but with details still largely remaining hidden under a veil of secrecy, like the Nobel Prize, the Oscars, the Grammys, and other similar closed circles.

While it feels we, the people and the common person seem to have had a had in it, in some ways, as a fan or as a consumer, it never really feels we were a part of it, apart from the occasional ‘community awards’ voted through text or sms or calls and what-nots. In the end, it is the fans and the listeners who decide, and it is the fans and the listeners who make the artist successful.

An Award Is Born.


Perhaps, one of the most useless and unnecessary awards ever conceived, but we thought it was fun and interesting to do. We only called it so, after almost 99% of the effort and analysis and ranking was done. Purely an afterthought, no pretensions, no grandeur, no ceremony, no nothing. Just a simple, plain, and unassuming award, for the fun of it.

Welcome to the GoSwifties.com Power Nuggets Awards!!!


Taylor Swift! Not Surprised! But Also Surprised! Lots of honest surprise 13s in the data outcomes! 


We know you have no need for another silly award from us nerds, but Congratulations!

The Winners!




Thank you!

Interested to get a copy of the raw data? Click here to request:

Originally published at: GoSwifties.com

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