Your city has a musical soulmate, but what city is it? In search of that answer, music discovery app Shazam has been aggregating city-specific data, and sharing its analytics with the BBC. The BBC then used information to locate ‘musical twins’ for approximately 5,000 cities around the world.
As a first step, Shazam collated location-specific information by tracking users and their song-matching results. The BBC started with the top 10 songs being looked up on Shazam during November in each of the 5,000 places. As many songs as possible were matched between Shazam’s data and the BBC’s musical database, with readers able to listen to clips of the songs.
The application then finds the city farthest away on the planet with similar musical taste. The results of the project are pretty fascinating: Los Angeles, for example, has Kuala Lumpar in Malaysia as a musical twin while New York has a twin in Singapore. The experiment also found London, a city with more than eight million people, had similar musical interests as Kaiapoi in New Zealand, which has a population of just 10,000.
Not only did the project match cities with their musical twins, but it also pulls out the most searched for songs in the local area.
Of course, many trends transcend locales. Adele’s ‘Hello’ was the world’s most searched for song in the dataset, turning up in Shazam’s top 10 in 2,578 cities, more than half of the sampled cities. Other popular songs included ‘Lean On’ by Major Lazer (in the top 10 for 1,062 locations) and ‘Hotline Bling’ by Drake (found in the top 10 for 777 locations).
The data clearly illustrates the influence of Western pop globally, with artists like Meghan Trainor, Calvin Harris, and Taylor Swift being matched in places like China and Peru.
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