'50 States of Music' Website Showcases the Industry's Cultural & Economic Impacts on Every U.S. State

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Did you know that Texas' music industry contributed $6.52 billion to the state's GDP, or that New York State includes 18,322 music businesses? Perhaps you forgot that country singer Jewel was born in Alaska, or that Moby hails from the same state (Connecticut) as John Mayer and Weezer's Rivers Cuomo. Or maybe you knew all of these and are really into interactive, informative websites. If you're all or some of the above, you're bound to enjoy a new project called "50 States of Music," unveiled on Tuesday (April 30). 

Created by the American Association of Independent Musicians (A2IM), ASCAP, BMI, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and SoundExchange, "50 States of Music" presents new data collected by Stephen Siwek of consulting firm Economics Incorporated. His work demonstrates that the U.S. music industry contributes over $143 billion in annual value to the state's economy. That number is broken down to a state-by-state level that also includes the number of music businesses, musicians (coded on the site as "royalty recipients") and songwriters, along with local notable artists, music festivals, music schools and music conferences. 

"Music is a uniting force -- a beloved cultural asset that speaks to each and every one of us in our lives," said Mitch Glazier, chairman and CEO, RIAA. "We know this, but what is less known is the enormous economic value music provides in hometowns throughout the USA -- from the local music store and concert venue to the music festival and hard-working songwriters and musicians in each and every state. Music is America, and America is music. This new site finally paints a proper picture of the U.S. music industry as one that is truly local, growing, and more important than ever. We hope that the entire music business, fans, and policymakers find this a useful resource as we continue our work toward a bright future for U.S. music."

Adds Richard James Burgess, president and CEO, A2IM, "Everybody loves music and the influence of American music is in evidence almost anywhere we go in the world. So much so that it has been an unofficial cultural ambassador for this country since the invention of the phonograph. Despite the ubiquitousness of our music, it is not common knowledge how much creators, labels, and other music industry players contribute to the U.S. and our individual State economies. Finally, we have a site that gathers this information together in a fun and easily digestible way.

“Songwriters are the lifeblood of the music industry; small businesses who operate in every state across the country making great music and driving American culture,” said Elizabeth Matthews, CEO, ASCAP. “ASCAP is happy to be a part of this new site that shines a light on the importance of music throughout the USA -- from the smallest town to the biggest city -- and notes the iconic contributions of songwriters.”

“The power of music is undeniable, both from a cultural and economic standpoint,” adds Mike O’Neill, president & CEO, BMI.   “Many talented people across the nation are essential to the American music industry, and of course, it all starts with the songwriters and composers who provide the foundation for our business. Bringing this picture to life is the '50 States of Music' site, an incredible new resource that highlights music’s cultural and economic impact across the U.S., state by state. BMI is proud to partner with the RIAA and other music organizations on this important project that showcases all that goes into the success of the American music industry.”

“50 States of Music captures the tremendous positive economic impact of our industry - one that extends far beyond music’s creators and is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of professionals in communities across the country,” said Michael Huppe, President and CEO, SoundExchange. “We are proud to support these creators by providing them with the accurate and timely revenue needed to advance their work.”

This article has been updated.