Spotify’s Viral-50 chart has been around for just over a year, but the streaming service wants artists to realise the role it can play in breaking their music. A blog post from the company’s Artist Services team yesterday showcased data from the first year of the chart, which tracks user sharing as well as streams to identify which songs are taking off. “Beyond showing ‘what everyone’s listening to’, Spotify’s Viral Chart tells interesting stories and uncovers some amazing gems in ways that traditional charts don’t,” as the post put it. It notes early appearances on the Viral-50 list for new tracks by big artists like Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran; tracks the performance of Lorde’s ‘Royals’ over its slow-burning rise to global ubiquity; but also suggests that “the Viral-50 is a far less exclusive club than the top charts, with mega stars like Katy Perry often sitting alongside a debut record from a niche genre or an unknown artist”, noting that 49 different artists have topped the US chart since April 2013, compared to 15 for the main Spotify-50 rankings. Spotify is planning to give both charts more prominence in 2014: “We have some exciting new features and a design overhaul coming to our charts website,” explains the post.

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