Speaker: Harin Lee, Romain Hennequin and Manuel Moussallam
Affiliation: 1, Deezer Research, France; 2, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Germany; 3, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Germany; 4, Faculty of Life Sciences, Leipzig University, Germany
Title: Understanding individual and collective diversity of cultural consumption through large-scale music listening events
Abstract: Emerging research suggests that cultural richness and complexity intensify with population size. Yet the mechanism underlying this phenomenon remains unclear: Do populated areas exhibit more cultural diversity simply due to there being a larger spectrum of individuals with varied backgrounds, or does the urban environment itself stimulate individuals to explore a wider variety of cultural experiences, raising the population’s baseline? To decipher this, we leverage a large-scale dataset of 69 million music listening events from the real world, examining the listening patterns of over 408 thousand unique individuals across 96 regions in France. Our study presents a dual perspective on diversity by (1) measuring one’s diversity of musical consumption by evaluating the breadth of their music listening history, and (2) assessing the shared repertoire among individuals as a collective. We found that both individual and collective levels of musical consumption diversity increase with population size. This trend held true when segmenting the population by gender and age groups, while a gender-specific divergence in consumption appeared from a particular age. We further delineate potential confounding variables to consider in future research aimed at identifying causal pathways, presenting this model using a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG). Together, our preliminary work represents a crucial step towards unravelling the complexity of cultural diversity and its ties to population dynamics.