Our Place in the Universe: No. 1 music trend setters


We’re popular! Or at least, we know what’s popular. Or at least, when it comes to music. Or at least, according to Last.fm?

A University College Dublin study used Last.fm data to determine the preferences of its 60 billion users over the past decade. It then extrapolated from pigeon patterns (no, seriously) to infer which cities were early adopters and key influencers in popular music tastes, and lo and behold, it’s us! Unsurprisingly, Atlanta dominated all other North American cities in the study when it came to hip hop. But (pretty) surprisignly, the capital of the New South also dominated the entire continent when it came to ALL OF THE MUSIC (H/T Atlantic Cities).

Check out this nifty (pigeon-inspired?) visualization of city-by-city influence from the study, and try to wrap your mind around how WE ARE AT THE TOP (and how low NY and LA rank):

I don’t know what to believe anymore. This kind of goes against a different study that was circulating the Interwebs the other week: Travel and Leisure’s hipster list. Sure, that list felt as if it were written in the ’90s, what with its references to Little Five as the epitome of our hipster scene and no mention whatsoever of either Westside or Old Fourth Ward (though it did love Savannah—and we totally get that), but its barbs still rang slightly true. We clocked in at number 32 on that one thanks in no small part to what Travel and Leisure deemed our poor music scene. However, the Dublin study focused on which cities had the most influential citizens when it comes to spreading the love for music, and as we all recall from high school, the popular kids are not necessarily the ones contributing the best works to society.

I think all this really means is that Atlantans like Last.fm inordinately more so than any other major city. Which just gets back to a different Atlanta study: that we rank number two when it comes to social media addiction. Now it’s all starting to make sense. Can our Klout score now go up for the “music” category, please? #kthnxbye

Photograph by Flickr/eytonz