Over at The Atlantic Cities, urban theorist Richard Florida looks at the places in the US where musicians gather; he writes "While industries like automobiles or steel still cluster around resources, cheap labor and transportation routes, or high-tech companies cluster around skilled labor and universities, the forever altered music industry now has fewer physical reasons to cluster — musicians no longer need to be near any particular resource to record and distribute their work anymore." And yet, they do cluster. In early 2007, his team gathered data on about two million musical acts using MySpace (which was not so useful as a social media site by then, but still attracted musicians promoting their work). They found that by nearly ever measure, Los Angeles is the epicenter of music in the US.
First they charted the number of acts in a given metro area: Los Angeles comes in at number one with 175,083 acts (followed by New York and Chicago)--"The distribution of acts follows population closely, though not entirely." then they adjusted that number to musical acts per 10,000 people: Los Angeles again comes in at number one, with 184 acts per 10,000 people (followed, weirdly, by Napa and Las Vegas). They also looked at which cities are home to the most popular musical acts, from data combining "the numbers of fans, views, and plays for each band and act" (mind you, this is from 2007): LA came in first again (followed by New York and Atlanta). When adjusted for population, Nashville tops the list, with Los Angeles in second (the most popular acts from LA in 2007 were Weezer, the Black Eyed Peas, and Snoop Dogg).
· America's Most Popular Music Scenes [The Atlantic Cities]