Considering that Metallica famously sued Napster in the early '00s and forced it to shut down, it's kind of ironic that they're are now using Spotify to tailor their set lists to individual cities when they tour and play live.
That's according to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, who made the claim during an earning's call on Thursday of this week. According to Ek, the thrash metal icons "(change) 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."
"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." Basing setlists off of chart data is certainly nothing new for musicians, and obviously Spotify's data is merely a reflection of the changing times.
According to an interview drummer Lars Ulrich did in 2017, the band meticulously plan out their live shows and the songs they'll play. Previously, it was based on radio listenership and data. "i don’t play the same setlist twice and I try to play different songs for whatever city we’re in depending on what we played the last time," said Ulrich.
As long as this gets a blast at some point in the set, everyone's happy.