The South Doesn’t Like Justin Timberlake, According to This Series of Maps
Did you also know Linkin Park was big in Alaska?
The New York Times has mapped out where all the Chainsmokers stans in the country are, and now I know where I should never move. Thankfully, the paper also pinpointed where Rihanna's fans are clustered across the country, so if I ever get tired of New York, I'll know where to head next.
But the Times didn't do this as a public service announcement for me—a person who cringes whenever that song "Closer" comes on and who also adores Rihanna. The Times' Upshot blog created "fan maps" for 50 popular artists, showing where in the U.S. people are most listening to those artists on YouTube.
Here's how they did it: The paper started with all the artists on the Billboard Top 100 chart from this spring, and then narrowed down that list to the 50 who were most popular (i.e. most watched) on YouTube in the U.S. The Times used geocoded streaming data from the video platform to map out each artist's relative popularity across the U.S. (The paper notes that the lighter parts of the map don't necessarily mean that an artist doesn't have any fan base—just that people are more likely to be looking up other artists' music.)
Here are some highlights:
Since her debut in 2005, Rihanna has remained a mostly regional favorite in mostly the East Coast and the South.
Beyoncé's map looks remarkably similar to Rihanna's.
Justin Bieber is especially popular in Las Vegas.
Ariana Grande’s maps lights up the most in Hawaii and along the coasts, like in Key West and the Jersey Shore.
44-year-old rapper Eminem has a stronghold in his hometown of Detroit, as well as in the Ozarks, the Great Plains, Western Virginia, Southern Ohio, and Eastern Kentucky, to name a few. Em’s fanbase tends to skew both white and rural.
Pop music villains the Chainsmokers are popular in Northeastern college towns. See you never.
We'll also be avoiding all of the Twenty One Pilot fans in Utah. Sorry.
Katy Perry—the singer-songwriter, as the Times notes, behind “Ur So Gay” and “I Kissed a Girl"— is very popular in Utah.
The South does not particularly care for Justin Timberlake, even in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
South Florida rapper Kodak Black is still very regional, with most of his streams centered in the Southeast.
K-pop boy band BTS is incredibly popular in Hawaii, California and in small sections of Wisconsin. Good for them!
Linkin Park is most listened to Alaska and in parts of the rural West.
Read the full report in the Times here.