Back in December, music streaming service Spotify offered students a discount on its premium service, offering college kids a rate ($5/month) half of what us older rubes pay.
The company has crunched the numbers of the students who took advantage of that offer, and the results have Arizona State University ranked as the seventh-most music-loving campus in the country. Only Iowa State University, UCL, University of North Texas, University of Washington, and Texas Tech University placed higher on Spotify's list, which the company ranked by average plays per subscriber to the student deal.
The numbers mostly show that ASU students' listening tastes are remarkably average, which comes as no surprise, given how large the student body is. (You'd figure that the larger the sample size, the more likely it would be to trend toward national averages.) ASU students' listening habits skew remarkably close to the national average in the five most popular categories -- pop, dance/EDM (electronic dance music), hip-hop, R&B, and rock. Surprisingly, ASU students don't listen to as much country music on Spotify as their peers do nationwide.
The most distinctively popular songs at ASU include "West Coast - Rob Orton Mix," by Lana Del Rey, "IV. Sweatpants" by Childish Gambino, "Paranoid (feat. B.o.B)" by Ty Dolla $ign, "Na Na" by Trey Songz, and "Show Me" by Kid Ink.
There are some surprising gems hidden in Spotify's data -- for example, ASU students listen to twice as much metal as do students nationwide and about half as much jazz. ASU loves Lana Del Ray, Eminem, Chris Brown, Ed Sheeran, and Skrillex more than their peers around the country, and they rarely listen to Coldplay, Nickelback, and Miles Davis.
And apparently, they're a godless bunch: Christian music gets little love at ASU.
Spotify also ranked song popularity by attribute, including descriptions like "danceability," "hotttness" [sic], and "liveliness." ASU ranked 10th for liking songs with "acousticness," 12th for "speechiness," and 14th for "tempo."
Of course, it'd be wise to view these numbers somewhat skeptically. Spotify didn't release the number of students who signed up for the deal, so we don't know what kind of sample size we're working with, here. We also don't know how many of the 76,000-plus ASU students already have Spotify accounts, both paid and unpaid, and how those students would affect the data provided.
If there's one thing the data shows, it's that ASU students' music tastes are not that unique. They like, more or less, what students at universities thousands of miles away like. There's not much that distinguishes ASU students from anyone else in the country.
Employers of the world, take notice.
Check out the full Spotify data here.
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