Money from Music: Where We Live
C. Immersion into a music ecosystem
In certain parts of the country, there is a critical mass of the music industry that wants and can afford a certain kind of ‘behind the scenes’ musical service – film and television studios needing background music, publishers looking for hit country songs, or recording studios seeking hired gun musicians to book for studio sessions. Our interviewees described again and again how the concentration of these opportunities – especially in Los Angeles and Nashville – attracts musicians and composers, and how a unique location-centric culture develops within that music community.
These kinds of perceptions and expectations are fed in part by the real accomplishments of their peers. Our survey found that over 30% of respondents who lived in Nashville reported getting some commercial radio airplay, and Nashville residents were seven times more likely to say they received frequent commercial radio airplay than the general survey population.
Similar observations were made about how certain genres seem to have aligned themselves with certain locations.
One interviewee made the observation that for a genre like classical music, the key funders who drive music production are less often industry players such as record labels, publishers, or production studios. Instead, classical groups rely more on individual patrons, foundations, and corporations for support. For an operation as large as a symphony orchestra, there are only a few places with a critical mass of patrons of the arts and foundations who can support that kind of infrastructure, and those are the largest cities.