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Ohio taste in music is not as bad you think

Posted by Brad Keefe | February 26, 2014 01:34 PM

So you may have seen this map — which has gone pretty viral recently — and thought to yourself, "Who the f--- is Florida Georgia Line, and why are they Ohio's favorite band?!" followed by planning to move to a state with better taste.

Well, relax. Despite what a ton of misleading click-baiting headlines from Buzzfeed, Gawker, and many more have indicated, this is NOT a map of every state's favorite band.

The map was created by the director of development platforms for a music stat service called Echo Nest. And it's not his fault that online journalists are misinterpreting it. They just aren't very good with numbers and don't seem to understand the methods he laid out on his blog here.

This map shows the "most distinctive artist" for each state. That means the artist that ranked higher in a state than any other state. The aforementioned pop-country duo Florida Georgia line ranked 26th in Ohio (and 75th in the U.S., despite the fact that I can't seem to find anyone who has ever heard of them).

So here are the actual 10 most popular artists in Ohio (which are pretty similar to the rest of the country), according to this tool:

1. Jay-Z
2. Drake
3. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
4. Eminem
5. Lorde
6. Justin Timberlake
7. Kanye West
8. Daft Punk
9. Imagine Dragons
10. Lil Wayne

That looks a lot better, huh? And just for fun, I decided to compare Ohio to the most musically backwards state I could think of (Alabama). Here are the top 10 artists listened to more in Ohio than there:

1. Olafur Arnalds
2. Belle and Sebastian
3. Stars
4. Depeche Mode
5. Wu-Tang Clan
6. Yo La Tengo
7. Franz Ferdinand
8. Barenaked Ladies (hey, they can't all be winners)
9. MGK
10. Genesis

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