Getting Everyone & Their Dog on Last.fm: Marketing A Study

There’s always a better way!

For a while I was pretty stubbornly stuck on using the Spotify API, and just that, for the Campus Tunes college listening study. The one problem of course was that it didn’t actually do what I wanted it to do, as there is currently no way to access a user’s top track plays through the API. However, Last.fm’s entire platform is to get top track plays and manipulate that data via Scrobble, and what do you know, the Last.fm API is even easier to use than Spotify’s API. To collect a sample set of users from a number of Kentucky colleges and study their listening habits, the only additional step will be for students to go into their Spotify settings and ‘Scrobble to Last.fm’ in order to collect data.

About Last.fm:

The awesome parts:

  • + Top track/artist/album plays are a key and public feature, so no authorization is even needed. Yay!
  • + All that I have to request from the API is each username
  • + Last.fm recently revelealed a huge update and new look
  • + Simple http requests within a well-defined API are easy to use
  • – The new update has momentarily locked down getting an API key, luckily users have shared their keys online
  • – Now I have to bring an outside feature into play in hopes that people will make a Last.fm account and integrate it with their current music platform, yuck!

Example usage and response:

//Last.fm API Calls

// Get artists top tracks

http://ws.audioscrobbler.com/2.0/?method=user.getTopTracks&user=mudrak4&period=overall&limit=50&api_key=57ee3318536b23ee81d6b27e36997cde&format=json

// Get city’s top artists

//Example Last.fm response (for the request above)
/// Relevant data: name, playcount, artist, url, rank (contains name and artist)
//// also possibly: mbid, image (medium)

{“toptracks”:{“track”:[

{“name”:”One Week”,”duration”:”FIXME”,”playcount”:”85″,”mbid”:”7922e7f2-e585-4b22-b6b3-23121a0beba6″,”url”:”http://www.last.fm/music/Barenaked+Ladies/_/One+Week”,”streamable”:{“#text”:”0″,”fulltrack”:”0″},”artist”:{“name”:”Barenaked Ladies”,”mbid”:”86e736b4-93e2-40ff-9e1c-fb7c63fef5f6″,”url”:”http://www.last.fm/music/Barenaked+Ladies”},”image”:[{“#text”:”http://img2-ak.lst.fm/i/u/34s/45e9615fca124e83a606938e2b3bc95e.png”,”size”:”small”},{“#text”:”http://img2-ak.lst.fm/i/u/64s/45e9615fca124e83a606938e2b3bc95e.png”,”size”:”medium”},{“#text”:”http://img2-ak.lst.fm/i/u/174s/45e9615fca124e83a606938e2b3bc95e.png”,”size”:”large”},{“#text”:”http://img2-ak.lst.fm/i/u/300×300/45e9615fca124e83a606938e2b3bc95e.png”,”size”:”extralarge”}],”@attr”:{“rank”:”1″}},

Marketing The Study

All aboard! The next step will be to share the study’s information and Google Form on social media to collect user’s Last.fm usernames and listening patterns. Over the next month I’ll be writing a script for Campus Tunes and using sensors/other data collection tools to test out Moonbase as I await a sufficient amount of response from my Google Form. I’m going to design some graphics and a logo to market out as the look of the survey with the digital marketing experience that I’ve built up. I had concerns that I’d have to completely pivot my project after Spotify’s API fell through, but things are looking up now as long as I can get enough attention from my push on social media and other avenues to get this out!

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