Thursday, August 24, 2017

Data Viz: ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ Follows the Eclipse | Insights

During the recent eclipse, listening to Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” exploded 3,521 percent on Spotify in the United States (1,017 percent globally) as the moon’s shadow began to cross the country.

The song also spiked 75 percent on March 10, 2016, the day after another total eclipse. This time, we saw a much bigger spike (that previous eclipse was mostly visible from various oceans).

We’ve noticed something else about this data, now that we’ve had time to pore over it. What we found is like a meteorological weather system of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” listening, which sweeps across the nation roughly following the path of totality (places where the moon blocked the sun). The animated map below depicts peak “Total Eclipse of the Heart” streaming in 48 US states on August 21, 2017:

An animated gif showing peak listening to "Total Eclipse of the Heart"

Our analysis includes several versions of the “total” hit. While Bonnie Tyler’s original easily eclipsed all of the covers, Spotify listeners showed a lot of heart for the Glee version, which was Monday’s second-most-listened-to version of the song. Rounding out the top three was a Spanish version by Yuridia, “Eclipse Total del Amor.”

Once they started, people couldn’t seem to stop. Those who listened to any version of the song played it an average of six times over the course of the day.

If you’d like to give it a listen…

  • Data: Michael Donnelly, senior data scientist
  • Visualization: Skyler Johnson, data viz designer


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