Spotify gets into the Groove with Musical Cities


Take a look how Spotify leverages CARTO to create the Musical Cities map, revealing distinctive music preferences across 1,000 cities worldwide.

This post may describe functionality for an old version of CARTO. Find out about the latest and cloud-native version here.
Spotify gets into the Groove with Musical Cities

According to an [article] written by esteemed musicologist Chris Brewer, we unconciously use music to develop the pyschology of our moods. That is to say, we use music to indicate love or heartbreak  to dance  to bring back memories  and to help us relax. Music is a powerful provider of individual  personal expression that situates, frames, or even locates important experiences. Simply put  music can be highly effective in enhancing our everyday lives.  

Recently, Spotify located the power of song with its Musical Cities map, an interactive data visualization that sets distinctive playlists to over 1,000 cities across 59 countries.

"Distinctive music " explains Eliot van Buskirk, Data Storyteller for Spotify, "is music that people in each city listen to quite a bit, which people in other cities do not listen to very much. So it is exactly the music that makes them different from people everywhere else."

Does this sound a little familiar? That's because in 2015, Eliot made this Musical Cities map. That map was a huge success and generated a ton of traffic, to the tune of millions of visitors. The global brand for music streaming decided to relaunch this visualization with custom branding and even more hits  collected from user data around the world.

The data is derived from 23 billion listener/track relationships and uses our Google Drive Connector to create a map with idiosyncratic  100 - song playlists for cities around the world using a basemap customized to align with Spotify's unique branding.

Discover how Spotify used CARTO to engage subscribers and get millions of views in our case study

Spotify's Musical Cities map provides users with a lot of information on international music tastes  but here are five additional ways to start navigating these global sound waves:

  • Listen to the distinctive music of an upcoming travel destination
  • Pump up the volume of bookings with music that reflects popular locales
  • Infuse your playlists with international notes
  • Book musicians with local appeal
  • Grow business demographics along musical scales

Our collaboration with Spotify has also been an exciting opportunity to expand the meaning of location intelligence. Transforming data on aural behaviors, such as music streaming, into visual information redefines the meaning of "where " while also pioneering the next generation of location intelligence.

CARTO has also started a CARTO Tunes playlist featuring songs with lyrics that relate to maps, directions, and geography. Check out CARTO Tunes. Did we miss an obvious song? Let us know by tweeting us recommendations @CARTO with the hashtag #CARTOtunes.

The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs may not love "Maps"  but you will after hearing songs from around the world with Spotify's Musical Cities map.

Happy Data Mapping!