Serendipity Visualizes Simultaneous Listening Worldwide

Serendipity

For the past two months, we’ve hosted Spotify’s very first media artist in residence, interactive artist Kyle McDonald, who has built something truly inspiring. His creation, Serendipity, is an animated world map that shows when two people listen to the same song at the same time.

Yes, it’s a mesmerizing piece of art. It’s also true to life, based on real-time data.

In order to show up on Serendipity, two human beings must have started listening to the same song on Spotify within a tenth of a second of each other — basically, at the same time — in different towns, cities, states, nations, timezones, or even hemispheres.

Although they might not speak the same languages, live in the same climates, or believe the same things, they’re playing the same song at the same time. We’ve always known that music brings people together — and now, we can see that togetherness in real time.

“There are so many ways we’re connected to each other, but sometimes we forget, or we just can’t see it,” said Serendipity creator McDonald. “In person, it’s easy to see the features we share, or when we share stories in online discussions. But we’re also connected in more ephemeral ways, and we can extract these relationships with new tools. Even though listening to music can be a very private experience, I wanted to see how often this experience is shared.”

“I’ve heard estimates that half a million people are in airplanes at any moment, forming a sort of city in the sky,” he continued. “Maybe Serendipity shows a similar sort of never-ending worldwide music festival. I hope that when people watch it they feel something that reminds them of listening to music with friends, and they think about what music can do to connect people.”

Serendipity’s beautiful depiction of musical synchronicity between music lovers all over the planet shows us, maybe, just a little, how shared our experience really is.

This is what it looks like when the world listens together.

Spotify’s Media Artist in Residence program is run on an informal basis, but we might do it again. Interested artists can find out more here.

 

 

 

 

Win tickets to an exclusive Paloma Faith DJ set

-1Would you like to see Paloma Faith DJ live? All you have to do is enter your details for a chance to win a pair of tickets to an exclusive Paloma Faith DJ set delivered by Malibu and Spotify.

The lucky, lucky winners will be gifted an evening of top-drawer tunes and some expertly mixed (and free) drinks. The whole thing is happening on Wednesday September 3 at Foundation in Covent Garden, London.

Get your entry in now!

 

Connect to some good vibrations.

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We can’t get enough of Libratone’s quirky Scandinavian design and innovative approach to sound.

Their network speakers use acoustic-filtering organic wool to fill any room with good vibrations. And they now feature Spotify Connect. Which, of course, is music to our ears.

Feast your eyes on the Libratone Loop and Libratone Zipp. Look out for the update on Libratone’s iOS/Android app to upgrade the firmware and get one of these beauties playing all your favourite Spotify tunes.

 

Emotional Music

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We know that there’s always that song that makes us smile, take us back to an exact moment, or bring us to tears… Music can have powerful effects on our emotions and with this in mind, we worked alongside Jacob Jolij, Professor in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Groningen, to reveal some of the songs that trigger the clearest emotional responses.

  1. Happiness – Katy Perry, Birthday

Happy songs are up-tempo, have strong rhythm, positive lyrics, and are typically in a major key. The up-tempo rhythm of Katy Perry’s Birthday will encourage active movement and dopamine release, which is good for your mood.

Furthermore some research suggests that the major key unconsciously reminds you of a falling pitch – a feature which in both human and animal vocalisations asserts dominance and confidence.

  1. Sadness – OneRepublic, I Need

Sad songs have the opposing features of happy songs: they are slower and in a minor key – with the lyrics generally more negative.

The minor key present in OneRepublic’s I Need unconsciously reminds the human mind of a rising pitch, which is associated with defeat and uncertainty.

  1. Optimism – American Authors, Best Day of My Life

Optimism is what psychologists call a complex emotion – it is not ‘built in’ our system by nature, but it is an emotion we learn to experience over time.

Optimistic feelings require happiness, so optimistic songs will share many features with happy songs: major key, upbeat. However lyrics – such as those in American Authors’ Best Day of My Life – are more important here as they provide the additional context to build optimism rather than purely improving mood.

  1. Anger – David Guetta, Bad

Anger is a basic emotion. It is negative, and as such associated with songs in a minor key. However, as opposed to sadness, anger is what we call an approach-emotion: it involves movement, a dimension anger shares with happiness.

Combine these two and you’ve got a recipe for songs that may help in channelling our angry feelings: up-tempo songs with a strong rhythm, in a minor key, such as David Guetta’s Bad.

  1. Overcoming fear – Coldplay, Magic

Fear is a negative emotion, characterised by a stress response that prepares you for a ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction.

In the modern age, we often experience the same stress responses in situations where the ‘fight or flight’ response isn’t beneficial – such as an interview or presentation. In order to overcome fear, the very first thing you need to do is to minimise your stress response, followed by managing your internal thoughts. Music that can help you to overcome fear therefore needs to be slow, relaxing, but have major chords to evoke positive feelings, and lyrics that deal with your negative thoughts, such as Coldplay’s Magic.

  1. Excitement – Avicii, Wake Me Up

The hormones present in the body when we are described as being ‘excited’ – such as adrenalin and endorphins – mean that excited people crave music that is positive, usually in a major key, yet more up-tempo and with a stronger beat than your typical ‘happy’ song.

And when you’re dancing with excitement to Avicii’s Wake Me Up, the lyrics in excited songs aren’t as important as they are to other moods such as anger or nostalgia.

  1. Nostalgia – John Legend, All of Me

John Legend’s All of Me is an example of a song destined to be a nostalgic hit.

For many the sentimental lyrics will remind them of somebody special, improving the probability of linking the song to other senses – such as sights or smells – meaning the iconic 2014 hit All of Me is a reliable track to provoke nostalgia in listeners for years to come.

Take a listen to the top seven emotion-inducing tracks here and check out more of our mood-focused playlists by surfing the ‘Genres and Moods’ section in the Browse feature.

 

For German Music Fans, World Cup Victory Was Cause for Celebration

Yesterday, Germany stunned World Cup host Brazil with a 7-1 victory, breaking records and Brazilian hearts. But for fans of the German side, which will now advance to the World Cup final, the result was cause for major celebration.

And celebrate they did.

As we did for two earlier matches, we looked at how many people were listening to music on Spotify in Brazil and Germany before, during, and after yesterday’s game. The number of listeners in both countries dipped during the action once again, as people tuned in to the big game.

In Germany, we see a big spike in listeners just after the game’s conclusion, representing some late-night celebrating, before listening declined again as the country went to bed.

Even in Brazil, some fans cranked up music on Spotify after the game, as you can see from the rising yellow line after the game ends. However, they listened a lot less than they did the previous night, and several hours passed before Brazilian listening returned to normal.

The following chart depicts hourly listening in both countries, from the day before the match to this morning:

Germany vs. Brazil: A study in listening patterns

See the red spike? That’s Germany celebrating its victory.

Keep in mind that, unlike in our last story about World Cup listening behavior, this one concerns countries in much different timezones, which helps explain why listening drops off in Germany faster than it did in the Netherlands or Sweden following their victories. (In Germany, the game ended at nearly midnight on a Tuesday night.)

It’s also worth noting that the chart shows hourly listening. So while it might appear that the Germans started celebrating before the game was even over, the spike actually shows how much they were listening about ten minutes after the game.

But the takeaway is clear: People in the country whose team won at the World Cup were more likely to listen to Spotify following their victory, while people in the losing country listened less than usual.

To celebrate with the Germans, give our post-game party playlist a listen. Or, to commiserate with the great futebol nation of Brazil after its uncharacteristic loss, try this one.

Update: We’ve also created a couple of new German genre playlists, for those looking to celebrate with some German techno or German metal.

Our friends at Malibu want you to have the #BestSummerEver

Our friends at Malibu want you to have the #BestSummerEverWe’ve teamed up with Malibu to produce the essential guide to Summer 2014. Available on mobile, tablet and desktop, there’s a string of great features ready to roll out over the next few months with everything from a guide to the best pub gardens and trending music in your area, to tickets for a super-exclusive, to-be-announced celebrity DJ set at a central London venue.

It all adds up to the #bestsummerever, a place where UK festival passes, Spotify Premium subscriptions, cocktail recipes (we like the Caribbean Orchard) and even Ibiza Rocks holidays are up for grabs. 

Make sure you check out the guide throughout the Summer for a whole heap of new stuff that’s yet to be announced…

Check it out here: http://www.spotify-malibu.com/

 

 

Spotify Loves Football

SpotifyLovesFootball

Music for life. Football for life. Everything you need to soundtrack the beautiful game.

This game is so much more than a sport. Hoping to share our passion for football with our equally-obsessed users, we at Spotify have put together www.spotifylovesfootball.com, a site dedicated to the inseparable relationship between music and the game. We have favorite tracks selected by football superstars like Wayne Rooney, Neymar, Kaká and David Luiz, as well as music superstars like Avicii, Shakira, Jennifer López or the Brazilian legend, Gilberto Gil -among many others. 

We have playlists to help you through moments of anguish, drunken partying, or simply out-of-control, madcap joy. And we have travel tips, music primers, a regularly updated feature section, and playlists for all 32 teams, with songs chosen by you to represent your country in our Spotify Playlist Cup. 

So bring on the national pride, the delirious screaming and the compulsive nail biting. Put on your favorite tracks and follow us all the way to the final. We’ve got a bad case of football fever.

Let the games begin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a Super Summer of Music! Get three months of Spotify Premium for the price of one.

Spotify Summer Jams

Summer. It’s about time.

With our warmest weather comes a hot offer for new subscribers: three months of Spotify Premium for the price of one. Sign up for this limited offer at spotify.com/summer, available now through June 15th.

That’s a full season of ad-free, on-demand music to enjoy on and offline, in the backyard or on the beach. In fact, anywhere that summer takes you! Here are some summer jams to get you started.

Whatever you’ve got planned for this summer, join ten million Spotify subscribers today with this exclusive offer of $9.99 for the next three months.

Get in on the action today and enjoy your Super Summer of Music! (New subscribers, sign up by June 15th for this special deal.)

This offer is available in Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Germany, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Mix millions of tracks with djay 2 and Spotify

djay + Spotify

 

Having more than 20 million songs instantly at your fingertips is a DJ’s dream come true.

Our friends at Algoriddim today announce a major update to djay for iPhone and iPad, the world’s best selling DJ app with over 10 million users on iOS. This new version lets all our Premium subscribers mix millions of tracks using their iPhone and iPad, as well as hook up their professional DJ hardware to a massive library of music – being a DJ has never been easier or more fun!

Not only can Spotify Premium subscribers DJ millions of songs, but they’ll also enjoy real-time, intelligent suggestions on what to play next, powered by The Echo Nest’s analysis of all the music on Spotify

Some of the features include:

  • Your music: Spotify integration in djay 2 includes all of your existing playlists, starred tracks and Inbox (to receive real-time song requests), powerful search capabilities, top lists, browse (by genres, moods, DJs). You can seamlessly switch between Spotify and their existing local library, as well as mix tracks from both of these sources.
  • Match: Finding the next track to mix has always been one of the biggest challenges for DJs, and it doesn’t get easier when you’ve got millions of tracks to choose from. Match, powered by Spotify’s recent acquisition The Echo Nest, provides unprecedented track recommendations based on danceability, BPM, key, music style, and how well the song mixes with the currently playing track.
  • Hardware Integration: djay 2 supports a wide range of professional DJ gear allowing users to mix tracks from the cloud using tactile knobs, buttons and jog wheels. Algoriddim’s djay 2 app is powered by exclusive hardware from Pioneer, Numark, Vestax, Reloop, Philips, Casio, and Griffin.
  • Social Sharing: djay 2 allows users to share their set lists as Spotify playlists via SMS, Email, Facebook, and Twitter, so the rest of the world can listen to the tracks instantly or recreate a great set.

djay 2 for iPhone and iPad with Spotify integration is available now as a free update to all existing users of djay 2. During this launch week, you can get djay 2 for iPhone as a free download and get a 50% discount on djay 2 for iPad.

A Spotify Premium subscription is required to access the Spotify music catalog. Not a Premium subscriber yet? A seven day free trial of Spotify Premium is available for all djay 2 users.

 

10 million subscribers!

Today we are thrilled to announce a special milestone – we now have 10 million paying subscribers and more than 40 million active users across 56 markets! Wow — we’re incredibly grateful to the thousands of artists and millions of music fans around the world who have helped us reach this point. To celebrate, we thought we’d put together a fun infographic for you!

Spotify - Celebrate - 10Million - Guitar - Rev07-01

What a trip! Thank you for building, growing, and listening with us.