Spotify for Artists is a required tool for any music artist, so they can see how their music is performing on Spotify. One great feature of Spotify for Artists is the live stream counter, which gives you live stats so you know exactly how your new song is performing. Some people have issues with this live stream counter and aren’t sure how it works, so in this article i’m going to clear that up for you.
The Spotify for Artists live stream counter is only available for the first 7 days of a release. When you have the live stats it will update every 1.5 seconds. After the first 7 days it will go away, at which point you’ll only get stats updated once per day.
Further down i’ll show you a hack that lets you keep the live stream counter for weeks, or even longer than a month.
When does Spotify for Artists update stats?
Spotify has a consistent time of day where they start and stop counting stats for the day. Each day Spotify counts from midnight to midnight UTC time, or 7PM to 7PM EST time. So if your song comes out midnight on EST time, it doesn’t receive a full 24 hours of data on release day, which is fine.
Some people get confused with this because they might see with the live stream counter they have 300 streams before midnight, but then the next day when Spotify updates they only have 210 streams counted for the first day. This is because of the cutoff times.
When it comes to updating the stats for you to see in Spotify for Artists, officially they say its updated 3PM EST time. However i’ve noticed some days by 11AM EST stats are available, some days a little later at 5PM EST, and every so often Spotify will just completely miss a day. However here’s a table I made for the most common update times for Spotify for Artist stats.
|Monday||1PM EST – 3PM EST|
|Tuesday||1PM EST – 3PM EST|
|Wednesday||1PM EST – 3PM EST|
|Thursday||1PM EST – 3PM EST|
|Friday||1PM EST – 3PM EST|
|Saturday||10AM EST – 12PM EST|
|Sunday||10AM EST – 12PM EST|
As I mentioned before, some days are different but this is what I see most often. For some reason I normally see weekend days update much earlier in the day. Another note is that most of the time the days where Spotify completely misses a day are typically during a weekday and not a weekend.
You may even see data update at different time / days depending on where you look inside of Spotify for Artists. For example, look at these two images taken within minutes of each other for a song that released yesterday at the time of writing this article:
In the first image we have stream, listener, save and playlist data. However in the second we have nothing.
The first few days of a release are often a little bit strange like this, but stats should match up around Spotify for Artists after the initial days. I’ve also seen cases where the saves are updated a day behind listener and stream data.
How to keep the Spotify live stream counter for longer than 7 days
I’m one of those people that almost always has 40+ Google Chrome tabs open on my computer. I also almost never turn off / restart my computers either. This means that I pretty much always have multiple tabs of Spotify for Artists open at a time, often for different projects of mine. Eventually I noticed that if you never close Spotify for Artists the live counter will stay past the 7 day mark.
Thats right, if you leave Spotify for Artists open on your computer, you can keep the live stream counter for longer than 7 days. One time I literally had it for 5 weeks past the release date untilI eventually had to install a software update.
Note that this hack will only work on desktop, it won’t work in the Spotify for Artists mobile app.
Is the Spotify for Artists live stream counter accurate?
In general I would say the Spotify for Artists live stream counter is accurate, but it does have some quirks. You may notice that if you listen to your song yourself the stream doesn’t show up right away, which makes me doubt how ‘live’ the counter actually is.
Another quirk is that if you listen to your song multiple times in a row you won’t see the stream counter increase by that same amount. Part of the problem is that streams don’t officially count until you listen for 30 seconds, but even if you do listen for 30 seconds it won’t always reflect those streams.
Spotify has some type of algorithm that aggregates repeat streams done by the same person back to back. They don’t officially say how it works but it seems like if someone were to loop your song 50 times straight you won’t get 50 streams from that, this is probably to avoid stream fraud.
Why is Spotify for Artists important for artists?
You can’t manage what you can’t measure – this is a common quote in the engineering world. Without data on how people are engaging with your music you have no way to measure the success of your marketing efforts, and you have no idea what types of people are engaging with your music.
You probably wouldn’t invest $1,000 into a stock that told you nothing about the company, just like you shouldn’t invest $1,000 into a marketing plan that has no way to measure the success.
When you watch your data you can measure the following:
- If your new song is getting as much quality data as your previous music
- If your Facebook ad campaign is working effectively
- If that playlist promo company you hired is delivering quality data or trash
- Which social media posts caused the biggest increase in streaming results
- How many listeners are still engaging with the music 6 months after your marketing push
Without this data you’ll never really learn what efforts are moving the needle the most for your music.
Live stream counter decreasing?!
You may actually see your live stream counter fluctuate up and down as well. In most cases its only by single digit numbers and not anything massive. My best guess is that this is due to the Spotify stream fraud algorithm determining what should and should not be counted, and also it may temporarily count someone as a stream and then if they stop before 30 seconds they subtract them.
I think there may be some sort of decimal rounding situation occurring as well, sometimes if you refresh the page multiple times you’ll see it bounce between two numbers. Perhaps they have some system in place that counts fractional streams for repeat listens, and when the stats are displayed to you the rounding is done differently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my distributor have a different stream number than Spotify for Artists?
Typically distributors receive stream data 3 months behind, and in some cases like Tidal more like 5-6 months behind. However platforms like DistroKid can directly integrate with Spotify for Artists and will show you a more up to date stream count inside your distribution portal. However even this number isn’t as up to date as the data directly in Spotify for Artists
Does Spotify count streams on repeat?
Officially, yes. Any stream that happens for more than 30 seconds is counted. However it seems like they have systems in place to aggregate repeat listens if it thinks they are suspicious.
How can I get more people to stream my music on Spotify?
There are a million ways to promote your music, but the way thats worked the best for me is Facebook ads. With Facebook ads i’ve gotten over 2.5 million Spotify streams on my solo project, and an extra couple million more in other projects.
I’ve put all my knowledge on this topic into a course called Spotify Growth Machine, which you can checkout here: https://learn.generastudios.com/spotify-growth-machine