The Data Request

Spotify implemented a way to get your data from your profile. This looks at the request and initial data download.

The Request

When you go there, you see a “Manage Your Data” section.

2019-07-08 16_47_45-Privacy Settings - Spotify

Below this is a “Download your data” section, with three steps. The first is a request to verify your identity. Clicking this will send an email to your registration email. I like the idea of verifying your identity somehow rather than just letting you get the data. Minor security hurdle, but still one.

After clicking on the email, step two lights up and shows you that it can take up to 30 days to get data. Similar to a GDPR request, I guess this sets some expectations if they get overloaded, but for now it’s annoying. We’ll see when the data comes.

Step 3 is the download link, that you can resend.

Overall, a good process to get what might be private data. It will be interesting to see what they keep on me and what songs and artists appear, both in popularity and unpopularity.

Getting the Link

About nine (9) days after sending my request, I woke up and found this in my email:

2019-07-16 09_02_42-Your Spotify personal data is ready to download - - DkRanch M

I clicked the link and went to the same manage data page shown in the first section, but before I could get the download, I saw this. Nice to see they are verifying access to get data.

2019-07-16 09_02_58-Privacy Settings - Spotify

When I verified my password, a file downloaded immediately. As expected, it’s zipped.


What’s in here? A number of JSON files, of various sizes. There are some items that are less interesting, like the plan and payments.

2019-07-16 09_40_30-001-way0utwest

If I open the playlist.json file, I see this:

2019-07-16 12_52_44-C__Users_Steve_OneDrive_SQL_SpotifyData_Playlist.json - Sublime Text

One cool thing here, is that this first playlist is one I created yesterday, the day before I received this link. Meaning, I think the notification was someone processing my request, not the time to get the data. The data was assembled with a process, that used data as of yesterday. I could be wrong, but I have a list of songs in a playlist.

Going on to StreamingHistory, which is where I thought I might see interesting data, I see this:

2019-07-16 12_56_09-C__Users_Steve_OneDrive_SQL_SpotifyData_StreamingHistory.json - Sublime Text

This looks like I only have a bit of history, not a lot. The first row is April 2019, the last row is July 2019, when I got the download. Disappointing, as I’d assume I’ll have a much different set of history this year than last year. I’ll have to load this into a database and try to decode it. That’s for another post.

It is nice to get some of this data, and I wonder what it looks like if I download it again in a week or two. Especially after another trip or two.

If I lose the data, I can go back and get the file again, at least for 30 days.

2019-07-16 09_45_55-Privacy Settings - Spotify

I’m glad that companies are starting to give us some data, at least for us data people. Certainly most people might just like a visualization of analysis of data, but allowing users to get their data means that *anyone*, or more *anyplace* can do this analysis for you. Opportunities that your data gatherer might not create.

If you use Spotify, I’d be curious what you think of your data. Feel free to write your post and leave me a comment on how you loaded and examined this data. I’ll do some follow-ups on this later.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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