The results are in: Beyonce claims most of Midtown while Jay-Z takes Brooklyn. All images via wsj.com
The Wall Street Journal calls it “A Musical Map of New York,” and the science is simple. Most bars have ditched the retro look of the stand-alone jukebox and gone digital. The new e-jukebox vendor TouchTunes caters to nearly 700,000 businesses and operates around 500 publicly accessible jukeboxes across the city. It recently collected the data from these machines and compiled them all into a map that displays what the city is listening to by borough and neighborhood. The results just might be the most concrete evidence we’ve recently seen attesting to New York City’s veritable smorgasbord of cultures, demographics, and now musical tastes.
The map is organized according to zip code and includes in each section an additional countdown of the top ten most played songs in any area. Looking at it all together, it’s almost comical how easily neighborhoods split up by musical preference.
Only on the Upper West Side would Susan Boyle reign supreme for twenty blocks while “Drunk in Love” dominates everything to the east of Central Park. And despite a flood of Katy Perry and Beyonce, it’s reassuring to see at least a few blocks where classics like the Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, and Guns N’ Roses are still played enough to overtake the Top 40 hits.
Other boroughs are another story.
Brooklyn remains a smattering of Frank Sinatra, oldies like the Stones and The Who, and proceeds on a general curve from Jay Z up in the north towards Latin music star Romeo Santos while approaching Queens. Categorizing the Brooklyn by songs also reveals a few others like 2pac, John Legend, and Whitney Houston.
The Bronx seems more or less to follow Brooklyn’s vein, Although the random showing from Pitbull is a little surprising (or embarrassing?)
In the end, however, despite a large amount of The Rolling Stones, Jay-Z, and Romeo Santos, New York City doesn’t seem to have a clear winner. Often, music that tops the charts for miles all around isn’t even on the top ten list in another borough.
There you have it. New York in May of 2015 dabbles in a two-year old Beyonce song but is more less trapped in either 60s and 70s rock or 90s rap. Or listening to Romeo Santos. We still don’t know who that is.