In fashion, London, New York and Paris are generally considered the leaders that everyone else follows. Two researchers, Conrad Lee and Pádraig Cunningham at the Clique Research Cluster in Ireland, set out to show that data can show which cities play a similar role for music.
Last.fm publishes lists of plays by location, so this pair studied Last.fm data for 200 cities globally fromas far back as 2003 – 60 billion pieces of data.
To crunch the data, they used a “recently developed statistical techniques to decide which cities lead others.” explains MIT’s Teclnology Review. “They then construct a network in which a link pointing from one city to another indicates that one follows the other.”
The study shows that some cities appear ake a leadership position for certain genres of music. Montreal leads North America in indie music listening habits and Atlanta drives Hip Hop. In Europe, Paris leads for indie music, but Oslo leads for music overall.
Another intersting finding is that the data seems to support that the size of the city does not matter as much as we might think when it comes to being the place where new music is discovered. So you’ll find Richmond, VA and Columbus, OH realtively more influential for new music than New York.