Can music bring the world together? Spotify artist-in-residence Kyle McDonald seems to think so. His latest creation, an animated world map called Serendipity, seeks to show how similar we really are by highlighting when two people listen to the same song on the streaming music service at the same time.
Whenever two people hit play on the same Spotify song within a tenth of a second of each other, the data will show up on the Serendipity map. You’ll be able to see the approximate location of the two listeners while a brief clip of the song plays. Moments later, the map will shift to highlight two more musical soulmates and the song they’re listening to.
The Serendipity map doesn’t really serve a function – it’s art, after all. Still, seeing what parts of the world are listening to which songs is undeniably cool, and a fun way to discover new songs.
“In person, it’s easy to see the features we share, or when we share stories in online discussions,” says McDonald. “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.”
You can take a look at Serendipity and experience the sounds of the world by visiting the Serendipity page on Spotify.com.