Editor’s note: This article was originally published February 26, 2014
All of George Strait’s ex’s live in Texas, but so do most of his fans.
In his Music Machinery blog this week, Echo Nest software developer Paul Lamere compared streaming music listening preferences across the U.S. by region and by state. (Lamere had run previous studies comparing music tastes by age and gender.) The resulting map has since gone viral on social media. The dense technical explanation behind the analysis, as Lamere writes:
For this study, I sampled the listening preferences of about a quarter million listeners that have a zip code associated with their account. I aggregated these listeners into regions (state, regional and all-US). To compare regions I look at the top-N most popular artists in each region and look for artists that have a substantial change in rank between the two regions. These artists are the artists that define the taste for the region.
As it turns out, the King of Country himself, George Strait, is the Lone Star State’s signature artist, according to Lamere’s data. That doesn’t mean that he’s the most-listened-to singer in the whole state — but it means that George Strait is the top-ranked popular artist in Texas who best represents a distinct listening preference compared to the rest of the country.
Sounds right. We would wager that you could find "Amarillo By Morning " in more Texas jukeboxes than any other state. Lamere also built an app allowing users to compare rankings between any two states or regions. Give it a try, and see what kind of music preferences those Californians who are supposedly immigrating en masse are bringing with them.
Think the data lies and another singer or band is worthy of being Texas’ signature artist? Tell us who you think it should be.