Earlier this week, we posted a map showing every state’s favorite band. As much as we love the idea of Sufjan Stevens being the soundtrack to Illinois or James Blake as an early favorite for New York’s next Governor, the map as a whole didn’t entirely make sense. Like, when did Kevin Gates bypass Lil Wayne as Louisiana’s biggest rapper? And B.o.B. is Iowa’s favorite artist? Iowa? Turns out the word “favorite” is used rather loosely here. Technically, it showed each state’s most distinctive artist, reflecting “artists that are listened to proportionally more frequently in a particular state than they are in all of the United States.”
As The Des Moines Register explains, “The way the ranking works is the states are also ranked by population. So maybe Journey is the most popular artist being streamed in Iowa (that’s just a random pick). But if Journey is already the fifth most popular artist being streamed in a more populous state, like New York, they get knocked out of contention for Iowa and any other smaller state. So while an artist like Bruce Springsteen being listed as the pick for New Jersey might seem to make sense, he’s actually the 23rd most streamed artist in that state. Basically, B.o.B. was the highest ranked artist that someone else didn’t like more than we did.”
In the wake of all the confusion, the original infographic’s creator, Music Machinery, has issued a new map. This one shows favorite artist by state as determined by those who are most listened to (via streaming music services, the radio, etc). As you can see, it’s composed almost entirely of Jay Z, Drake, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Daft Punk, Eminem, and Lorde. The lone exceptions? South Dakota, which totally loves Imagine Dragons, and Vermont, the apparent second home for Alt-J.
For more on the entire process, visit Music Machinery’s website.