Maps Show How The Most Popular Music In America Changes Drastically From State To State
For people who aren’t from America, it’s nearly impossible to grasp just how big and diverse our country is. You can drive the entire UK from top to bottom in just 16hrs26min, and all of England from top to bottom in 9hrs44min. It takes 12 hours just to drive across the widest part of Texas. The United States of America is gigantic. So it’s not at all surprising that our favorite music changes drastically not only across regions, but also state by state, and within the states.
Josh Katz at the New York Times threw together this collection of interactive maps. He used YouTube’s geocoded streaming data to map the top artists on the Billboard Top 100 and put together one map for each of the top artists. What this data shows is how popular Rihanna is in Georgia vs. Wyoming, and how popular The Chainsmokers are in California vs. New Hampshire. I’ve included 10 of the maps below, but you can find all of the maps here on the NYTimes’ The Upshot. What I find the most fascinating is how musicians/artists/bands that are extremely popular in the Southern Bible Belt are pretty much dead to the rest of the United States, and vice versa:
What is it about the South that makes the music so insular from the rest of the United States? Geographically, Atlanta is the undisputed capital of the South. It’s also the Rap/Hip-Hop capital of the South. But that doesn’t explain why the rap artists like Migos (not pictured above but CLICK HERE for that map) are insanely popular in the South and dead to much of the United States.
The map that blew me away the most is Twenty One Pilots. They’re at #3, and that was the first thing that surprised me. Then I look at the map and see that I’m living in one of the extreme ‘less popular’ areas. This has me wondering if it’s the radio stations controlling this popularity to a large degree, or if there are a thousand other factors intertwining…What do you bros think?
I highly suggest checking out ALL OF THE MAPS on NYT because the rest of them are equally as fascinating.