Metal Heads Don’t Like Raffi, And Other Learnings From Spotify’s Kids’ Music Data
Spotify isn’t just a streaming music service; it’s a treasure trove of listener data, from which you can glean all sorts of interesting tidbits — like statistical proof that your music tastes calcify after 33. This data allows the service to identify which of its users have kids, because there’s a ton of kids’ music played on Spotify, but kids under 13 can’t have their own accounts.
If Spotify knows that you have kids, and it knows the music you generally listen to, then maybe you can learn some cool new kids jams based on what people with similar tastes play for their kids, right?
Eh … not so much. It turns out that it doesn’t matter if you pump Slayer, Jay-Z, or Garth Brooks after they go to bed — your kid probably likes the same stuff every other kid likes. If you take the top 25 kids’ songs on Spotify and then break the list down according to 6 major genre preferences of the account holders, 17 of those songs will appear in all 6 genre lists. Here are the top 5 overall, along with how they rank on each genre list:
1.”Timber” by Kidz Bop Kids
1. “Goofy Goober Rock” by Spongebob Squarepants
Parents looking for this week’s sign of the apocalypse, look no further: It’s a tie between a G-rated version of a Pitbull track about bedding strippers and a barely-masked cover of Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock,” sung by a sea sponge. If either of these songs offend you, don’t let your kids near them, because they will colonize their (and, by extension, your) brain.
2. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Scott Aplin and Phil Barton
A perfectly reasonable selection for any kid that’s consistently played across all genres and begs only one question: The Bobby McFarrin original wasn’t enough of a kids’ song?
3. “The Rainbow Connection” by The Muppets
A classic that all right-thinking parents would love to see at the top of this ranking, if only those killjoy metal heads would play it a little more often (and also if kids didn’t like sea sponges doing Twisted Sister covers so much).
4. “Baby Beluga” by Raffi
Speaking of killjoys, how can you hate on “Baby Beluga,” metal heads?
Despite the apparent collusion between kids to make sure their parents all have to listen to the same songs regardless of their parents’ musical tastes, there were a few interesting outliers in the data set — 6 songs appear solely in a single genre list:
Rockers Are Really Pussycats
The classical lullaby “Pachebel’s Canon” appears only in the Rock genre.
Metal Heads Don’t Like Raffi, But They Do Like …
“The Hampster Dance Song” by Hampton The Hampster. At this point, it’s probably best to stop questioning the metal heads.
And, Finally, Damn You Country Fans
“Let It Go” by Kidz Bop Kids appears only in the Country genre. What? You thought you were getting out of this piece without a song from Frozen? Sucker.