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Spotify Makes Billboards To Highlight Strange Listening Habits Of Users

We all have our guilty pleasures, but those usually stay private. Spotify is currently putting the strangest listening habits of its users on blast with billboards placed in major cities in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany, reports Mashable.

The campaign illuminates the playlists of Spotify users who were clearly going through some stuff, like one listener who played the song “Sorry” by Justin Bieber 42 times on Valentine’s Day. “What did you do?” Spotify asks on the billboard.

Spotify NYC Billboard Spotify NYC Billboard

Spotify also put up an ad highlighting a resident of New York’s Theater District who listened to the soundtrack of “Hamilton” 5,376 times over the course of 2016—though if you lived so close to the Richard Rogers Theatre and still couldn’t get tickets to “Hamilton,” you might go a little crazy, too.

Spotify Billboard UK Spotify Billboard UK

Among the other outings that Spotify has put up on its billboards: a person who started getting into the winter holiday spirit in June and the nearly 4,000 Brits who played “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” by R.E.M. on the day of the Brexit vote.

Spotify Billboards Spotify Billboards

The ads are surely just a small sampling of the habits users exhibited over the course of 2016, and Spotify is no stranger to oddities taking place on its platform. The company’s internal music intelligence team has previously highlighted 1,369 musical genres that got weirdly specific.

Included in the mix assembled by the team’s music experts were genres like aussietronica (electronica from Australia), spytrack (music that sounds like what you’d expect to hear in a spy movie), and wrestling (music by and featuring wrestling stars).

None of those genres, nor the questionable streaming choices of users, quite top some of the other strange happenings that have taken place on Spotify.

Take for example the Ann Arbor, Mich. based band Vulfpeck. The group uploaded an album comprised entirely of silent tracks and encouraged its fans to stream it endlessly at night. The stunt racked up $20,000 in royalties from the record.

New York-based band Ohm and Sport came up with their own way to earn a little extra cash from Spotify plays by building an app that continually plays 30 second clips from an artist’s back catalogue—the minimum amount of time for a listen to count as one Spotify has to pay the rights holder for.

It’s probably safe to say none of these types of schemes were behind the listening habits that made it on Spotify’s billboards—Justin Bieber and the cast of “Hamilton” are probably generating enough listens on their own, after all. But it’s still interesting to see the company dig into the extensive data it tracks and having a little fun with it.

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