Spotify offers a peek into Twin Cities music tastes


Turns out Big Data — the looming specter that will devour privacy, not the electro-pop act — can provide neat insights into the listening habits of Spotify users. The music-streaming service recently rolled out a musical map of the world, one that illustrates the "distinctive" tastes of dozens of cities, including Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

So what exactly does distinctive mean? Here is Spotify's Eliot Van Buskirk. 

"This is music that people in each city listen to quite a bit, which people in other cities also do not listen to very much. So it is, exactly, the music that makes them different from people everywhere else."

The geo-specific playlists are regenerated bi-monthly, providing a fresh snapshot of each each city's music-listening patterns. In Minneapolis, at this very moment, a handful of trends appear present (click here for the playlist). First, buzzy young locals — Hippo Campus, Caroline Smith, Lizzo — have large footprints. Makes sense. Also unsurprisingly, legacy Twin Cities hip-hop acts — P.O.S., Doomtree, Atmosphere, Prof — maintain large followings, although you won't find many national rap stars. 

A more surprising wrinkle is the show of support for bro country, which maybe shouldn't be surprising given our staggering whiteness. Artists like Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Cole Swindell, Dustin Lynch, Kip Moore, and other practitioners of the genre appear in large, beer-hoisting, truck-loving numbers. We recently sent a reporter to explore the bro-country lifestyle at the big Luke Bryan and Florida Geogia Line concert, so consult that piece if you'd like more clarity. Whether it's bro county or straight-up contemporary country, there's no denying the sheer amount of rootin'/tootin' artists who made this list, from A Thousand Horses to Zac Brown Band. 

Continuing the whiteness theme is the number of artists who fall into Cities 97 and 89.3 the Current demographics. We're talking Matt and Kim, Dawes, Brandi Carlile, Mat Kearney, Lucius (a biggie!), etc.

The overall study, of course, is is limited in that it only references selections made by Spotify users, which likely means the playlist culls from younger listeners (we have no science to back that up, but I still have to explain Spotify to my uncles). Absent in the data are downloads, vinyl spins, numbers from other streaming services, YouTube plays, and much more. Still, it's a cool glimpse into the headphones of your fellow Twin Citians — to an extent. You can explore the entire world's music tastes below with this interactive map.