Musical Map of the World 2.0

Music is a universal language — and maybe one with more variants than any other. To understand these nuances, let’s step back and see and hear how people around the world (cities and countries) listen to music differently, what they share the most, and more.

Click a country or city to hear its music (instructions below; full-screen version).

Navigate by dragging the map.

Zoom with the + and – buttons at the top left.

Click a city to hear music distinctive* to that city — songs that are enjoyed there disproportionately a lot relative to in other places. It’s a great way to understand the musical character of well over a thousand cities worldwide.

Click a country to hear:

  • Distinctive music: played there disproportionately relative to in other countries
  • Emerging music: just starting to take hold
  • Popular music: streaming from windows, headphones, and cars
  • Viral music: shared left and right

Everything in the musical map of the world updates every week, so you can embed a current version of the above map audiographic with this link, or the following HTML:

<iframe src="https://spotifymaps.github.io/musicalcities/" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0"></iframe>

This version 2.0 of our audiographic map (first version here) includes new cities, plus four new country-level playlists and a native pop-up player so you can hear the places right there on the map (thanks, Carto).

* Spotify Data Alchemist Glenn McDonald analyzes many billions of listener-track interactions on a regular basis to distill each place’s musical character into those distinctive playlists.

16 thoughts on “Musical Map of the World 2.0

  1. Well, according to this map, cities as disparate as London, Berlin, Vienna, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago all have the same top ‘distinctive’ song, and nearly the identical top 5… I think your data alchemist is maybe a bit overworked trying to analyze billions of interactions… let alone comprehending and identifying distinctive musical styles for, literally, the entire world.

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    1. Glenn says, “Distinctive popularity is a combination of absolute local popularity and that local popularity relative to global popularity, plus a bit of a bonus for newness. The weighting of these elements is arbitrary, and could be changed to produce more distinct (but more obscure) music or more popular (but less distinct) music, or slower- or faster-changing lists. But the current weights have held up fairly well over time. Big international hits like this have their moments, but pass pretty quickly.”

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  2. Spotify is not available worldwide and will never be due to legal constraints and technology issues. Check Kanjian 360 app on iTunes and Google Play stores for the Chinese Spotify.
    2017 will be the year of the change, time to start to pay content creators and give listers the freedom of choice they deserve.
    20 million songs? Think about an app that gives you access to 90 million songs and pays the artists… utopia?

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  3. Hi Eliot! I’m also interested in a yearly review per city (in mi case, Malaga(Spain)). And I have another question: Is it possible to know the genre of a song in a playlist?

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  4. Sorry, wrong question… what I meant was “is there any place where we can fund how this rankings per cities are made”? It would be interesting to know the most song played by cities….

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    1. These are the songs most distinctive to each city at any given time. We have no such map for the most popular per city at the moment (‘most popular’ doesn’t vary as much per city), but perhaps we will in the future.

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