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Where You Make Music Does Matter

& the entertainment economy

I've written before about how where you make music may matter more than you'd think it might in a globally connected world. It's not just the size of the music industry where an artist as located  that matters. In fact, more important appears to be the size of the music scene measured by both the number of musicians and fans.  They both provide the feedback that helps an artist create better music; and great music is where it all begins.

Two charts from Richard Florida's Music & The Entertainment Economy Project at the University of Toronto's Rotman School Of Management illustrate the point. The first looks at the size of various music scenes as measured by the number of artists on MySpace.

Florida Top 20 Cities

When looking at the number of fans that bands based in certain cities have, the rankings shift.

Note that this is where the bands are; not where the fans live.

Florida total_fans_ranks600 

Should every band move to one of these top 20 cities as quickly as possible?  Probably not.  Too much competition can kill a project as quickly as too little can; and other factors like the kind of music you play should be factored in. For example, the fans and other musicians that you'll find in Nashville are quite different than in Portland, Oregon. So taking a criticial look around  and assessing the potential for creative and fan support makes sense. Then take action to build your aritst or label's community/scene/tribe via networking, the net, UHaul or whatever means available. - Bruce Houghton