Which cities are the music trendsetters?

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 17: Singer/Songwriters Usher Raymond and Singer/Songwriter Justin Bieber present to 2011 inducee Jan Smith at the 33rd Annual Georgia Music Hall Of Fame Awards at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on September 17, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
Rick Diamond
Usher and Justin Bieber at the 33rd Annual Georgia Music Hall Of Fame Awards on Sept. 17, 2011, in Atlanta.

(CBS News) Want to find the hottest new music? Just look to Atlanta, Montreal or Oslo.

A new study suggests they are three of the cities leading world music trends. So, you may want to listen to your Atlanta friends' playlists to get an edge on the next big thing in music.

Pictures: Music capitals of the world

The new report, dubbed "The Geographic Flow of Music," examined the flow of musical preferences, using data from music site,, which provided weekly charts for about 200 cities over the last three years. By ranking the top 500 artists and providing information on unique listeners, the statistics helped researchers identify which cities lead overall music habits and trends.

In the report, Atlanta tops the "All Music" category, followed by Chicago, Montreal and Pittsburgh. Montreal heads up the flow for indie music, followed by Toronto, Los Angeles and Boston.

As for hip hop, Atlanta is the overall trendsetter, according to the report. Toronto, Chicago, and Montreal are right behind the Canadian city.

In Europe, Oslo is the overall music leader, followed by Stockholm. Paris, meanwhile, paves the way for the indie music scene, according to the report.

Ireland-based researchers Conrad Lee and Padraig Cunningham of University College Dublin were surprised by what they found.

"The results are interesting," Lee explained. "First of all, depending on the genre, the leaders vary. Secondly, the big cities are not in the lead. I was expecting the cluster of New York City and San Francisco to be leaders, but that's just not what the data shows."

Lee points out, though, that New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle and Portland are trendy cities with similar tastes.

The researchers say the study is not "predictive" - meaning the model doesn't necessarily help make predictions about what bands will be popular in any given city in the future.

Still, it's fun to think about music trends and which cities could be dominating the pack.

For years, there's been a huge hip hop contingency coming out of Atlanta - ranging from OutKast to B.o.B. Even Canadian pop star Justin Bieber got a jump start from the cit,y thanks to his Georgia-based mentor, Usher. Montreal is home to indie rock darlings Arcade Fire, while Oslo is known for its jazz and black metal music scene.

"The Geographic Flow of "Music" -- Indie Music Chart, Leader-follower network for the twenty most active cities in Canada and the U.S.
Conrad Lee and Padraig Cunningham