Which Colleges Listen to the Best Music? Check This New Spotify Interactive


The news: If this month has taught us anything, it's that big data is everywhere: Not only are matchmaking websites analyzing your dating patterns, but now your listening habits and sleep schedules are being scrutinized as well.

On Tuesday, music-streaming giant Spotify posted some big data analysis of its own, taking a look at the listening patterns of American college students. Having launched a discounted $4.99 premium service for students last semester, Spotify wanted to see which schools listened to the most music, when they were jamming out and what their individual preferences are — and the results are pretty fascinating.

According to Spotify, these are the 10 schools that stream the most songs through its service:

1. Arizona State University

2. Auburn University

3. Brigham Young University

4. California Polytechnic State University

5. Cornell University

6. Florida State University

7. Georgia Institute of Technology

8. Indiana University Bloomington

9. Iowa State University

10. Miami University

Different strokes for different folks: More interestingly, Spotify also analyzed what kind of music students at each university were listening to, and when. For instance, students at Arizona State — which listened to the most music on Spotify — are most likely to use the service around 4 p.m. and enjoy trendy pop artists such as Lorde, Calvin Harris and Ariana Grande:


The heavily Mormon student population at Brigham Young University mostly listens to feel-good rock bands such as Coldplay, OneRepublic and Imagine Dragons, while the STEM-focused California Polytechnic State University favors dance and EDM groups such as Flume and Disclosure. Meanwhile, NYU holds its own as a hipster haven with distinctive artists like James Blake, Mac Demarco and, of course, The Strokes.

Other tidbits: NYU students sleep an hour less than average and prefer slowcore and hipster music, Ohio State students are the most classical, UPenn students stream the most Latin tunes, University of Minnesota students blast Frozen hit "Let It Go" more than any other school and Purdue University students would rather listen to the boy band 5 Seconds of Summer than Beyoncé, who is a "distinct un-favorite of the school" (make of that what you will).

What does this mean? Nowadays, if we're online, we're participants of big data experiments, knowingly or no. For some, it's an invasion of privacy; for others, it's a cool look at how people are using a service and a useful way to customize user experiences. But whether you like it or not, companies will continue to carry out these kinds of studies to reveal our true tastes.

You can check out an interactive version of the Spotify report here.