It’s hard to pinpoint Americans’ music tastes, but The New York Times recently tried to do it anyway by creating a series of fan maps.
The maps, which were published on The Times’ data-driven venture The Upshot, show the “contours of music fandom.” The maps provide a spectrum of relative U.S. popularity of 50 of Billboard’s Top 100 list artists using geocoded viewing data from YouTube.
If areas of the map are lighter for one artist, it doesn’t mean people there necessarily dislike the artist, according to The Times. It does mean that “fans were more likely to listen to a variety of other artists.”
Never miss a local story.
The Times used data from 22 billion YouTube views from January 2016 to April 2017 to draw the maps.
Here are some takeaways specific to Kansas City:
▪ Justin Timberlake’s relative popularity is extremely high in south KC and Johnson County. His local popularity is only rivaled by pockets in California, the Northeast and a large swath of Utah.
▪ Adele is less popular in Kansas City relative to other places. Her music videos were more popular in areas of Nevada, the South and rural Missouri.
▪ Kendrick Lamar, who will perform at the Sprint Center next week, garners more relative popularity in the region than Adele.
▪ Big Sean’s popularity covers a large part of this region, with only Michigan, his home state, and California, where he’s based, with bigger popularity areas.
▪ People in Garden City, Kan., appear to be really big fans of Justin Beiber. Though Beiber’s biggest following is in Las Vegas.
▪ Twenty One Pilots garners big support in rural Missouri. The New York Times writes that the duo has a “Christian streak in lyrics and background, perhaps explaining its popularity in more religious places.”
▪ Eminem, whose lyrics have been called misogynistic, is also hugely popular in rural Missouri, particularly the Ozarks.
▪ A small dark spot along Interstate 70 in Kansas, presumably made up of Junction City or Manhattan, represents a group of people who really like listening to Michael Jackson.