How the heck did B.o.B. end up as Iowa’s ‘distinctive musical artist’?
Published on February 26th, 2014 | by Joe Lawler
On the blog Musical Machinery, Paul Lamere posted a blog entitled “Exploring regional listening preferences,” with a map entitled “Distinctive artists by state.”
Iowa ended up with “Nothin’ On You” rapper B.o.B.
This is where things get a little complicated. Lemare isn’t looking at the most popular artists that originated from certain states, but who is most popular in streaming. But B.o.B. isn’t the most popular artist being streamed in Iowa. He’s the 32nd most popular artist.
So how does this all make sense?
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 us.
But California, the most populous state, ended up with its 23rd most streamed act, Bonobo. Texas got its 16th pick, George Strait and New York got its 47th pick, James Blake. I sent Lamere a question seeking clarification of why California wouldn’t get its top pick. Maybe this is just one of those statistics things that explain why I didn’t want to take a lot of math classes.
By the way, Iowa’s Stone Sour showed up as the top distinctive act for North Dakota. But they were really the state’s 47th pick.
You can see the top 500 most popular streaming acts in Iowa here.