Shazam’s huge São Tomé and Príncipe User Base

I had the pleasure of watching Cait O’Riordan speaking at last week’s Strata Hadoop in London. While she presented a fantastic talk, the one thing that struck me was a brief visualisation showing Shazam user activity around the world. Specifically the activity in Africa:

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There is an unusual cluster of people around São Tomé and Príncipe. Either Shazam is over represented on an island know for little more than picturesque beaches, or something when wrong.

Shazam users testing the new under water feature. “São Tomé – Praia Café” by jmaximo Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The snippet below from Google Maps shows where São Tomé and Príncipe are in relation to the rest of Africa. More specifically it shows where 0°00’00.0″N 0°00’00.0″E is on the map. Whats likely going on is that Shazam are using a GeoIP lookup service which is occasionally returning [0.00,0.00] as the co-ordinates for IP’s that don’t have a location specified. To make sure that it doesn’t all overlap too much on the screen, the user locations seem to be varied slightly. Either that or São Tomé and Príncipe is the place to go if you are an up and coming band.

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You can see the original video below, its worth watching the whole thing. The globe appears at about 1:20.


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