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Significant Digits For Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Welcome to Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news.


$10 per month

SoundCloud has finally found what we in the world call a “business model,” and will charge users $10 per month to listen to music sans advertisements. Users also get access to music catalogs and the ability to save tracks for when the user isn’t online. [Bloomberg]


29 tour dates

The ’90s were pretty great, according to lots of people. Some of those people were musicians who did the vast majority of their successful work in the decade, but not much since. They have now banded together like some sort of bar trivia Justice League to headline the “I Love The ’90s” Tour. A murderers’ row of the “Now That’s What I Call Music” circuit is involved: Coolio, Color Me Badd, Kool Moe Dee, Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepa and Kid ‘N Play. There are 29 tour dates set between April and October, coming to a pavilion near you. [Rolling Stone]


45.3 percent

A new study of 400 colleges from a retired Duke University professor has found that there are a lot more A’s being given out than there used to be. In 2013, 45.3 percent of grades at the schools were A’s, 33.6 percent were B’s, and 14.1 percent were C’s. In 1940, 14.9 percent were A’s and 35.2 percent were C’s. Grade inflation has been on a steady rise for the past few decades, according to the research. [The Washington Post]


171 delegates

Number of delegates obtained by Sen. Marco Rubio prior to his exit from the race. Rubio’s zombie campaign is trying to retain control over those delegates until the convention. But it has already lost some of them: the Cruz camp plucked five Rubio delegates from Louisiana. But as a certain frontrunner would say, exerting what leverage you can is a crucial part of the Art of the Deal. [The Associated Press]


$760 million

There are nearly 16,000 American babies that are born premature each year at least in part because of air pollution, according to a new study by a team of medical researchers. The extended hospital stays and medication the babies require cost $760 million annually. [Reuters]


$1 billion

Spotify has raised a billion dollars in debt financing from investors. The Swedish music company lost €162 million in 2014, when we last got a look at the company’s books. Since then, a whole bunch of competitors like Apple — and if you read the $10 entry of this post, now SoundCloud — have entered the streaming space. [Wall Street Journal]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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