New Study Shows Fulton County’s Music Ecosystem Ranks Among Top 10 in U.S.

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A new study presented to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday, September 16 shows that the music ecosystem in Fulton County is among the strongest in the nation.

Fulton County collaborated with Georgia Music Partners to engage Sound Diplomacy, a global expert in developing music strategies for cities, regions, and countries. Since July 2019, the Sound Diplomacy team mapped music-related businesses and organizations across Fulton County and assessed their economic impact.

The findings of the Sound Diplomacy study validate what many have long known: Fulton County is a cultural center for Georgia and the Southeast region, and the county’s creative economy is thriving.

“Creativity is a driving force in Fulton County’s culture and our economy,” said Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts. “The findings of this study validate what we have long known – music brings us together and offers opportunity for thousands of our residents.”

“The Fulton County Sound Diplomacy report clearly highlights that Fulton County is an epicenter for music production. This is not only a tremendous asset in and of itself, but an opportunity to build upon a music ecosystem that can drive job growth, innovation, and educational investment opportunities,” said Tammy Hurt, Co-Founder of Georgia Music Partners.

Nationally, Fulton County ranks sixth among U.S. counties with registered sound recording industry establishments, with 1.4% of the total recording industry establishments in the U.S.

One-third of Georgia’s music industry is located within Fulton County, with more than 130 recording studios, as well as rehearsal spaces,  music performance venues, industry organizations and more. While in recent years, Fulton County has been best known for the hip-hop and R&B genres, world-renown artists in virtually every musical genre call Fulton County home. 

While in recent years, Fulton County has been best known for the hip-hop and R&B genres, world-renown artists in virtually every musical genre call Fulton County home. 

In recent years, growth in creative sectors has outpaced other industries. Jobs within Fulton County’s music industry grew by 110% from 2001 to 2018 – six times the growth rate of Fulton County’s economy as a whole.

In addition to these key assets, the Sound Diplomacy study examines the impact of other resources including The Recording Academy, Atlanta Chapter; the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology; the Trap Music Museum; the Georgia Music Investment Act; the Creative Industries Loan Fund, and the Creative Industries Exchange Program.

Music technology is highlighted as an area of potential growth, offering synergy with Fulton County’s strong technology sector.

The study acknowledges the impact of COVID-19 on the music industry, with disruption in live performances posing a significant economic threat to both musicians and music venues. 

Policymakers and other leaders will be able to rely upon the study for future decision-making regarding investments in economic development, arts investments, and more.

View the Executive Summary


About Fulton County

Fulton County is Georgia’s largest county and is home to more than a million residents living in 15 cities. Fulton County serves as Georgia’s hub for culture, education, jobs and business opportunity. Select Fulton serves as Fulton County’s growth and economic development agency. Learn more at or @FultonInfo.

About Georgia Music Partners

Georgia Music Partners is a not-for-profit organization founded with the mission to help Georgia’s music industry grow to promote job growth and culture in the state of Georgia. Georgia Music Partners managed to pass the Georgia Music Investment Act in 2017, which then went into effect in January 2018 and creates a new tax incentive for music production in Georgia. GMP is currently working to pass House Bill 347 to further their overall mission. Visit to learn more about GMP and HB-347.

About Sound Diplomacy

Sound Diplomacy is the leading global advisor on music cities strategies and market development. As strategists for cities, developers, large private sector organizations and governments, Sound Diplomacy provides cutting edge research and market expertise in placing music and music business strategy in city, urban and development plans. They work in over 40 countries and with over 100 clients, spanning public, private and third sectors, such as the Greater London Authority (UK), the cities of Vancouver, Huntsville (Alabama), New Orleans (Louisiana), San Francisco (California), Brisbane (AUS), Cardiff (UK), the regions of Northwest Arkansas (Arkansas) and The Shoals (Alabama), and organizations such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

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