Where Is The Music Industry Located? [GPAPHIC]

image from www.janemccrackenhomes.com We've all heard Nashville referred to as "Music City" before, but what's fascinating is how predominantly the industry as a whole is concentrated there.

In an analysis of music industry establishments – including record labels, distributors, recording studios, and music publishers – urban studies theorist Richard Florida reveals that Nashville, the top ranked city, is literally off the chart when compared to LA and NYC. It has over "180 recording studios, 130 music publishers, 100 live music clubs, and 80 record labels."

The next runner-ups are LA and Montreal, which don't even come close. Nashville has roughly 3x as many music establishments as LA. Because of this, Florida deems Nashville the "Silicon Valley of the music business." He also notes that the city has established itself as mecca for genres beyond country music, it now has large concentrations Christian, pop, rock and punk too. Take a lookimage from www.creativeclass.com

The Evolution of Nashville:

"Over the past several decades, Nashville transformed itself from a rather narrow country music outpost in the 1960s and 1970s into a major center for commercial music.

By the mid-2000s, only New York and Los Angeles housed more musicians. Nashville's rise is even more impressive when you look at its ratio of musicians to total population.

In 1970, Nashville wasn't even one of the top five regions by this measure. By 2004, it was the national leader, with nearly four times the U.S. average.

Today, it  is home to over 180 recording studios, 130 music publishers, 100 live music clubs, and 80 record labels." (Read On.) 

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  1. Counting music publishers and live music venues is relatively straightforward, but counting studios (when most studios nowadays are in residences) and record labels (ditto — everyone and their mother has one) seems like a complete guess in the dark. Who knows if those numbers are even close to accurate? I have to question the conclusion of the article.

  2. True… and do those 4 areas represent the “music industry” these days? They are a part of it but what about the Internet companies?

  3. There is so much more to the music industry that record stores, clubs, publishers and labels.
    This graph would be accurate 15 years ago maybe.
    Would love to see the REAL numbers (not concentration) side by side!

  4. Yes, it’s too bad this is really not a very relevant survey, or rather, it’s not executed in a relevant way. i.e. What size publisher? If you have ten publishers with small catalogs, is that really “ten times more music industry” than one large global publisher? And how to compare the studios? How many hours actually paid bookings does a studio have to have to qualify? How many rooms? Is a three-room facility that’s booked solid really equivalent to a one-room studio that is only 50% booked? Same with the clubs – How big are they? How full are they? Are ten small clubs really “ten times more music industry” than one big hall? And yes, what about all the other areas of the music industry, from ad music to film music to game music etc.? Shouldn’t they count, too? Otherwise, shouldn’t this be labeled size of “record industry”, not “music industry”?
    Metrics that would have been far more revealing and allowed for actual comparison are i.e. total music industry related annual revenue, or number of people working full time in the music industry. Or they could have split up into categoiries, i.e. total paid booked hours per studio room, total annual catalog revenue per publisher, etc., and compared that.
    Now, I have no idea whether Nashville would have still come out on top or not when compared this way, my point is only that the current version of the survey doesn’t provide much real insight.

  5. Like a lot of Richard Florida’s work, this is interesting but of questionable worth when you dig into it.
    When you have Vancouver outranking New York and Atlanta, you’ve got a rather bizarre picture of what’s what in the industry.

  6. LA is definitely #1 for music industry and it has been for a long time. Any big artist from Nashville will have to fly to LA to make their music video, attend the Grammys, Oscars, press interview, etc. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great venues and studios in Nashville, but LA is where everything happens these days. And yes, I know this from experience, you can’t get a lot of things done in Nashville. If it were up to me, I wish Nashville was the biggest industry hub as smoggy, traffic heavy LA gets quite annoying.

  7. I personally think, my family having been from Nashville, it’s still too “country” oriented… If they truly are the home of MUSIC, they should be more accomodating.
    Andre from Idlewood

  8. I’d like to view the source material here. The fact that Madison, WI is higher than Atlanta and more than half what NYC makes for an interesting statistic. But how was that calculated?

  9. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura?? Really? That’s where I live and, thought it’s relatively near L.A. there just isn’t that much going on that I can tell. Bigger than Austin, seriously??

  10. Nashville? Come on! Does all that bravado about hick town include symphonic, chamber, operatic, jazz, new age, hip-hop, rap, alternative, rock, stream-of-consciousness, improvisational, film, children’s music, foreign music sensibilities, cabaret, or just country?
    Absolutely not.
    I suggest that Nashville Chamber of Commerce adopt the moniker -“It don’t mean a thang if it ain’t got that twang.” You can have your slang and your rednecks. You’d be more accurate if you ran a chart showing that Nashville has more guitars that anywhere else, (and by the way, it’s only one of thousands of instruments you may or may not have heard that are used in performance everywhere else on earth.) Until Nashville can move past it’s image of flannel shirts, cowboy boots, belt buckles
    and pickup trucks, your hubris is laughably amusing.

  11. Symphony is a big deal in Nashville. Schermernorn Symphony Center-20 million$ was recently used to upgrade the facility. Fusion artist Al DeMeola plays there March 18, 2011. I listened to many styles of music walking Music Row last weekend. The last 2 featured producers at The Producer’s Chair were rock producers David Z and James Michael, both live in Nashville. Larry Carlton lives in Nashville. Guitar session multi-style player and a senior editor of American Songwriter magazine, Gary Talley is there. Met a mega film producer at a party last weekend who moved there from LA. At the same party was spouse of long time member of Elton John’s band. Also, back-up singer for Neil Young was there. A song writer for Peter, Paul and Mary. John Hiatt moved there. Ironically, the party host is famous for a song cut by George Jones.
    The stats in the graph may need better qualification but the music landscape is changing.

  12. Forgot one other thing regarding music video. A band recorded at Dark Horse, but rather fly to LA for the video, they filmed in Orlando.

  13. Headed to Nashville in a few days. Going to hear Songwriting Hall of Famer Steve Cropper. Hope to catch Michael McDonald in a show sometime, oh, by the way he lives there. Heard one of the best soul bands ever down on Jefferson. Hall of Famer Will McFarlane (Bonnie Raitt, Pointer Sisters, Jackson Brown, et al) spends time playing around town, phenomenal guitar player. A list of New York and LA-caberet, Broadway, pop, rock, jazz, fusion artist and history making songwriters live there. If you want them to sign your book, you’ll have to mail it to their home…in Nashville. Looked at several lutes and harpsichords rebuilt by master luthiers and craftsman, and you thought there were only guitars there. Where’s the country slang rednecks, flannel shirts, big buckles and boots? The sure mark of a redneck is one who slanders other people’s town, their music, the way they dress, and can’t write a complete sentence. There are plenty of redneck acting people in LA, and definitely New York, so you can make fun of Nashville if you want, but you are missing something very special.

  14. come to nashville before you write it on the internet. half the city doesn’t give a flying fuck about country music. i’m a hip hop producer and a member of an indie rock band. ingnorantfuck.

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