Vanity metrics are the kind of numbers that you would tell your friends to impress them. They are often manipulated and supposed to make a song appear better than it is. Plays could be considered a vanity metric. They are not best indicators to determine the popularity of your song. Music is an experience, so in order to determine the quality of it one has to listen to it. It says nothing about the intention behind this listen or if the listener actually liked it, recommended it and so on. Other engagement types are better indicator
Likes and Reposts
The more effort and time it takes a user to perform an action in response to a song offering, the more engaged a user has to be.
By this definition, likes are cheaper than reposts. They only require a single click. A repost is a much stronger response because the reposted song can be found on one’s profile, it clutters the timeline, and represents the respondent vouching for a song with their good name and reputation.
Comments and Followers
A comment is the most time consuming action because it requires typing, thinking, and sometimes even grammar… By this definition, comments represent passion, courage, and of course, effort. This could make comments one of the strongest indicators for hyper-engaged fans. Followers are the most important metric and the hardest to obtain in large numbers. Your number of followers is the single most important statistic in building your fanbase.