Spotify maps out the world according to music

  • Map analyses nearly 20 billion tracks to show localised listening trends
  • Hip Hop genre rules playlists worldwide

Spotify maps out the world according to music
SPOTIFY has unveiled the 'Musical Map: Cities of the World', an interactive visual guide of how people listen to music in different cities around the world.

On its Insights blog post, the London and Stockholm-based online music streaming service said the map features nearly 1,000 city-specific playlists that reflect each area’s unique music preferences.

Spotify said it created the map based on music that is ‘distinctive’ to each area, referring to songs that are listened to frequently in specific cities that are not frequently listened to in others.

With something as fast-changing as music tastes, the map automatically updates every two weeks, allowing listeners to “travel the globe and to stay on the pulse” of each city’s music scene, as every update involves analysing nearly 20 billion tracks listened to by Spotify users.

Top global listening trends revealed by the map include:

  • The world loves Hip Hop, as this genre showed up on playlists more than all other genres, regardless of geography or language
  • Local artists are excessively popular in the areas where they reside across all music genres

Some of today’s trending musicians across major US cities include:

  • New York, New York – The Chainsmokers
  • Los Angeles – Grupo Maximo Grado
  • Miami – Gente De Zone
  • Atlanta – Tamia
  • Chicago – King Louie
  • Philadelphia – Meek Mill

In cities around the world, the top trending musicians are:

  • Berlin is trending towards the stylings of Mia
  • Rio de Janeiro is loving Mc Nego do Borel
  • London favours the sounds of Jamie xx
  • Sydney has Spotify fans checking out Golden Features
  • Singapore’s charts are dominated by The Sam Willows and Charlie Lim
  • Malaysia is listening to the ever classic, Sudirman

Listeners can also see a streamlined list of ‘Musical Map: Cities of the World’ here, including playlists for all featured cities.  However, this map and list could change significantly come 2016.

Several sources speaking in confidence to Digital Music News say that Spotify could soon be shifting toward a premium-only, ‘gated access’ model next year.  As such, some music releases could potentially be available only to paying Spotify subscribers, and not available to listeners on the free advertising-based tier.
Such premium content, according to the report, could be made available to non-paying users, but for an extremely limited time only.  Other ways of limiting the catalogue would be to offer just one or two songs from an album rather than the entire collection.

The pressure is reportedly on Spotify to agree to such terms, as the company is due to renew its contracts with the industry’s 3 giant record labels, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music Group on October 1.  With 2 months left before the deadline, no deals have reportedly been signed so far.

The music labels have recently become more vocal against the free advertising-based tier, which has also caused high-profile departures from the likes of Taylor Swift and Adele from the Spotify service. 

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