Spotify Shares “How Students Listen 2017” [Eliot Van Buskirk]

Download (1)In addition to learning, expanding personal horizons and developing a plan for post student life, college is also a place where many shape their musical identities. Eliot Van Buskirk of Spotify Insights has taken a deep dive into how students listen and shared it via an interactive microsite.


Guest post by Eliot Van Buskirk of Spotify Insights

College is about learning, learning how to learn, and expanding horizons before they narrow into careers and other trappings of post-student life. Universities are also places where people form musical identities, due not only to the relatively in advanced age of the student listener (music taste solidifies with age). It’s also because they’re living with each other, all the time, for years, in dorms where there’s music playing. This leads to a cross-pollination of music that lasts a lifetime.

What are college students listening to these days? Let’s find out, with an interactive microsite that explores how each school listens to music on a few different levels.

  • Sort the schools in our study by various audio acoustics using the dropdown menu above the graph and the buttons to the right.
  • See how they stack up in terms of listening (normalized by the number of student subscribers at each school), and listening diversity (variety in listening).
  • Top genre for each school
  • Distinctive* tracks, artists, and playlists for each school

* What’s popular tends to be popular everywhere; looking at the “distinctive” music — that which is over-represented at one school vs the other schools — yields more interesting results.

Click for <a href="http://students.withspotify.com/">interactive version</a>

We actually did this once before, in 2014, when we released our first study showing how US college students listen to music. This 2017 version includes a few new bells and whistles; with it, here are some updated lists:

Party Music

Penn State had the highest percentage of party listening (by playlists) of any US university:

  1. Pennsylvania State University
  2. Ohio State University
  3. Arizona State University
  4. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  5. Virginia Tech
  6. Texas A&M University
  7. Michigan State University
  8. University Of Texas at Austin
  9. Iowa State University
  10. Texas Tech University

Night Owls & Early Risers

If you’re a student at Northern Arizona University, it’s likely that you never sleep. This university ranked in the top 10 of listening both late night and into the wee early morning hours. We found the early risers by ranking each university by share of listening that happens from 7-8am. Here’s who’s ready to rise and shine:

  1. California State University (Los Angeles)
  2. Utah Valley University
  3. University of Houston
  4. University of Utah
  5. Florida International University
  6. San Diego State University
  7. University of North Texas
  8. Texas State University
  9. Northern Arizona University
  10. University of South Florida

Night owls love their music from 2-3am. These university students like to jam late night:

  1. University of California – San Diego
  2. University of California Los Angeles
  3. University of North Texas
  4. Texas Tech University
  5. University of Houston
  6. University of Texas at Austin)
  7. University of California – Berkeley
  8. University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign
  9. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  10. Northern Arizona University

Top Listening

Overall, California State University – San Bernardino spent the most time listening to music on Spotify (normalized by dividing time spent listening by number of student subscribers at the school):

  1. California State University, San Bernardino (CSU)
  2. Washington State University
  3. California State University, Los Angeles (CSU)
  4. Santa Monica College
  5. Pasadena City College
  6. University of Connecticut (UConn)
  7. California State University, Northridge (CSU)
  8. University of Nevada (Reno)
  9. Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
  10. University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz)

See the whole 2017 How Students Listen site here.

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