United States Music Map: Who Listens To What, Where

Patricia Didelot

A United States music map is trying to analyze who listens to what kind of music depending on which area of the country they live in. But does it work?

Do you like rock, pop, rap, disco, classical, country, Justin Bieber? Where do you live? What does that have to do with anything?

Everyone has a preconceived notion of what residents of a particular state like to listen to. For example, those in New Jersey like Springsteen or Bon Jovi for sure, right?

It a little more complicated than that for the folks at The Echo Nest, a company that does studies for online music outlets such as iHeart Radio and Pandora, to determine what kind of music a certain station should play.

Now they have taken on the task of identifying who the most popular artists are in the United States, state by state.

Gathering data from online music listeners and mathematical equations, Paul Lamere, director of developer platform at the Echo Nest, created a map that shows what the musical preferences are in the state, however, he wanted to go beyond the top selling artists.

Lamere told the Los Angeles Times:

"If you made a map like that, it would be very boring. It would be Jay-Z. Macklemore. Lorde. All across the United States, the same artists are popular, I was looking for the regional variance in artists."

And this study is not to be thought as a popularity contest in the strict sense of the world. So it is not who is most popular in particular area of the United States. It looks at popularity comparatively.

The concept is a little hard to follow. The artists that rank the highest in a certain state's top 100 most popular acts but fall the furthest elsewhere.

As an analogy, Lamere compared his United States of music to regional food preferences, stating that a Philly cheese steak sandwich is most popular in Pennsylvania, but not in other places, while people love pizza and burgers all over the country.

We are not sure about how you feel in regards to the United States music map. For this writer, it couldn't be any farther from the personal taste and from the comments Lamere has been getting on his website it would seem many agree.