Metallica shape live shows by what fans are listening to on Spotify, claims CEO

The band alter their setlist city-by-city

Metallica change their setlist to best suit fans in different cities, it has been claimed.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said on his company’s earnings call on Thursday (July 26) that the band caters live performances based on the listening habits of their fans.

As Quartz reports, Ek said that the band looks at what audiences are listening to on Spotify in the city they’re playing in, and then alters the setlist to include some of the most popular songs in that area.


“You have an artist like Metallica, who changes their setlist on a city-by-city basis just by looking at Spotify data to see, which the most popular songs happened to be in that city,” Ek said.

Metallica in concert at The SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Scotland

“We’ve never before been at a place in time where you could make as many informed decisions and understand your audience as well as we can do now as an artist.”

Quartz says that the firm that represents the band did not immediately return their request for confirmation.

Ek added that artists and labels are getting a better idea of who their fans are in part thanks to the listening data that Spotify gathers.


He said it’s one way that his Spotify is helping to change the music industry.

Metallic are particularly attentive to audience engagement. The band makes recordings of live shows so that fans can buy the audio files on

To them, it’s seemingly crucial that each show is unique.