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Network Science Reveals the Cities That Lead the World's Music Listening Habits


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Credit: iStockPhoto.com

Clique Research Cluster scientists recently analyzed data from Last.fm, a social Web site for music, to determine which cities set the world's listening trends.

Last.fm publishes lists of the most listened to artists divided geographically. The researchers, led by Conrad Lee and Padraig Cunningham, examined the way Last.fm's charts vary over time to determine if certain cities consistently lead others in terms of listening habits. The researchers studied data for 200 cities around the world starting in 2003 and compiling about 60 billion pieces of data and developed statistical techniques to decide which cities lead others. They found that certain cities appear to lead other for different genres of music, with Montreal and Atlanta leading North American in indie music and hip hop music listening habits, respectively.

The researchers now want to determine if their method can predict how listening habits will change in the near future. "We have not yet demonstrated that our models have this predictive power, although we plan to attempt this validation in future work," the researchers say.

From Technology Review 
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