Let’s face it — Spotify is one of best things to happen to music in recent years, and not just because it’s home to Matt Grosinger’s excellent Celebrity Mixtape series. Gone are the days of making mixtapes or CDs for friends because thanks to the music sharing service, you can now legally share music with your pals without the pesky problems of buying re-writable CDs or, like some readers may have done way back when, holding a tape deck up to a radio. One of the coolest and perhaps slightly scariest things to come out of Spotify is the data. By monitoring what people are listening to, they’re able to do some amazing things. Namely, this interactive musical playlist map:
That right there is what the world is listening to! Read that sentence again and let it settle in. User’s listening data leaves distinct regional playlists that give you exactly what those areas are listening to. While there are some surprises in there what might be the most impressve thing is how each region’s listening habits almost speaks to the population or regional feel.
San Diego’s list, for example, has a list that would feel perfect for a weekend on a beach with tracks by Iration, Slightly Stoopid, Jack Johnson, Sublime, 311 and Pepper.
On the other hand, Portland, Oregon has a substantially more indie feel that’s chock full of artists like Sylvan Esso, ODESZA, Glass Animals, and Phantogram.
What really becomes interesting is exploring other places around the world. How else could I discover that “Úlfur Úlfur – Úrið Mitt Er Stopp Pt. II ft. Gísli Pálmi” is listened to in Reykjavik, Iceland and that they drop of whole lot of F-bombs in English for some reason. Come on Iceland, most of your words look like you made the best out of a of bad Scrabble hand, so you can at least up your own swearing game.
Spotify states that, “We update each of these distinctive city playlists twice per month. Each update involves analyzing approximately 20 billion listener/track relationships.” This means that it really is a representation of each area and their listening habits. Sadly there are a lot of areas missing which begs questions like “What does Alaska listen to?” or “Do you think South and North Dakota will ever discover what music is?” (Boom! Take THAT – two states I’ve never been to and have no reason to criticize!)
[HT: The Fader]
What musical discoveries did you make? What surprised you (besides my unsubstantiated digs at the Dakotas)? Let us know in the comments below!