CNRS researcher


thomas.louail ( at )

Research areas
computational social science
geographic data science

Main research themes (since 2020)
– digital culture and consumption
– music streaming practices
– integration of digital traces into mixed methods research designs

Campus Condorcet
5 cours des Humanités
93322 Aubervilliers cedex
South research building
Office 1.152 (1st floor)

Phone number
+33 (0)1 88 12 01 27

About me

My research lies at the interface between computational social science and complex systems. I work on consumption behaviors on internet platforms, by combining digital traces of individual activity, surveys and interviews. I currently lead the ANR RECORDS (2020-2024) project, a collaboration between several CNRS social science units, Sciences Po Paris and the streaming platform Deezer. We investigate the social and spatial diversity of listening habits and tastes, the worldwide circulation of new music, and the relationship between the music preferences people declared in surveys and their everyday streaming habits.

Before that I did my PhD in computer science, and then studied individual human mobility by relying upon different types of ICT data sources (mobile phones, urban transport cards, payment cards), focusing on how people move in cities, and how it depends on city structure. For these studies I benefited from partnerships with private companies that collect such personal data (Orange, Telefonica, BBVA).

Main grants

National projects
2024-2026 : DROM’n BASS (DROM, music streams database and spatial statistics), funding by the French Ministry of Culture, co-PI with Marion Maisonobe

2020-2024 : RECORDS (Users’ practices on music streaming platforms), funding by the French National research agency (ANR), project leader and PI at CNRS/Géographie-cités. See

2021-2024 : MAMA “du Monde d’Avant au Monde d’Après” – Cultural and digital practices, funding by CNRS InSHS , co-PI with Philippe Coulangeon (CRIS), in partnership with ELIPSS panel

International projects
2018-2022 : MOREHOUSE – Modeling hOusing maRkets dynamics thanks to Emerging and HeterOgeneoUs data SourcEs (funding by CSIC and CNRS), co-PI with Jose Javier Ramasco (IFISC)

Supervision of master’s and doctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows

Anne-Cécile Ott (2023-24)
– Timothée Chabot (2023), now Associate professor in sociology at University Toulouse-Jean Jaurès
– Robin Cura (2020-22), now Associate professor in geography at University Panthéon-Sorbonne

PhD students
– Kristina Matrosova (since 2020) ‘Spatial dynamics of musical taste’, co-advised with Olivier Bodini (Laboratoire d’Informatique de Paris Nord) and Manuel Moussallam (Deezer research).
Ryma Hachi (2017-2020) “Exploring the effect of street networks’ morphology on their accessibility conditions : an empirical approach based on graph theory“, co-advised with Lena Sanders (CNRS) and Sandrine Robert (EHESS). PhD manuscript available here.

Master students
Alvin Opler (2022-23), now PhD student at CEA
Myriam Boualami (2020-21), now PhD student at Centre Marc Bloch (Berlin, DE)
Quentin Hirtzlin (2021)