Spotify ranks America’s “Top 40 Musical Universities”, identifies college students’ listening habits


    Like so many of the students that have come before and after me, I’d say that a majority of my fondest college memories are closely associated with music.

    As a student who commuted to New York University from the outer boroughs of the city, I made sure to stack my playlists with hours upon hours of music. Morning ferry rides were soundtracked by Wolf Parade and Arcade Fire. Meanwhile, my nights and weekends were spent seeing live music at any of the nearby venues. I distinctly recall drinking a shitload of wine and then seeing, aka falling in love with, M. Ward at a 2006 show on campus.

    Now, in an effort to better understand the listening habits of current college students, Spotify has analyzed the data culled from its most recent “student subscription” campaign. Not only has the streaming service been able to identify the top 40 universities that listen to the most music, but it’s also been able to pinpoint some of the distinct listening characteristics of their respective students (i.e., which school listens to more jazz, which blasts rock jams late at night, which prefers Latin artists).


    Some of those interesting findings? The University of Colorado Boulder is into “relaxing” and “study-oriented” songs; Ohio State really digs classical music; Purdue University sports the most “aggressive” and skatepunk playlists; and NYU students love their “hipster” music (I can attest to this).

    Below, check out more of Spotify’s fascinating discoveries.

    — In “the city that never sleeps,” listening patterns indicate that NYU students get an hour’s less sleep on average. They also listen to more slowcore and hipster playlists.

    — Cornell University listening spikes at 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.. One possibility: Its students wake up and exercise before class more than those at other schools.

    — University of Colorado Boulder students play our study-oriented Focus playlists the most. They’re also top streamers of Relax.

    — Who listens to the happiest songs? It’s Iowa State, followed closely by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, University of Georgia, and University of Alabama.

    — Texas A&M appears to follow fads and trends less than the other schools.

    — Northeastern students enjoy metal, jazz, and Christian music, but not juggalos or listening at night.

    — Ohio State listens to the most classical.

    — Boston EDM duo Timeflies is really popular at Iowa State, relative to other schools. They played a show there in 2012, which appears to have gone well.

    — Penn State kids rock out on high-energy music, R&B, punk, and the EDM artist Hardwell way more than the kids at the other schools.

    — You can find fans of fast skatepunk music at Purdue.

    — Students at the University of Alabama listen to country music at about twice the average rate. They also listen more to sleep-themed playlists.

    — Speaking of which, Brigham Young goes to bed the earliest and wakes up the earliest, which might have something to do with its midnight visitor curfew (1:30 a.m. on Fridays).

    — The top Latin music schools are University of Pennsylvania, University of Florida, and University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

    — The University of Washington listens to the longest, most instrumental music.

    — Peak listening is 4 p.m. across all of the schools.

    And here is the full list of Spotify’s “Top 40 Most Musical Universities in America” (note: they’re not ranked in order).


    01. Arizona State University
    02. Auburn University
    03. Brigham Young University
    04. California Polytechnic State University
    05. Cornell University
    06. Florida State University
    07.Georgia Institute Of Technology
    08. Indiana University Bloomington
    09. Iowa State University
    10. Miami University
    11. Michigan State University
    12. New York University
    13. Northeastern University
    14. Ohio State University
    15. Pennsylvania State University
    16. Purdue University
    17. Texas A&M University
    18. Texas Tech University
    19. University Of Alabama
    20. University Of Arizona
    21. University Of Arkansas Fayetteville
    22. University Of California Berkeley
    23. University Of California Los Angeles
    24. University Of Central Florida
    25. University Of Colorado Boulder
    26. University Of Florida
    27. University Of Georgia
    28. University Of Illinois Urbana Champaign
    29. University Of Michigan Ann Arbor
    30. University Of Minnesota Twin Cities
    31. University Of Missouri Columbia
    32. University Of North Texas
    33. University Of Oklahoma
    34. University Of Pennsylvania
    35. University Of Southern California
    36. University Of Texas Austin
    37. University Of Virginia
    38. University Of Washington
    39. University Of Wisconsin Madison
    40. Virginia Polytechnic Institute And State University


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