It’s no secret that most music listeners have a favorite genre, but which genre has the most loyal listeners across the globe?
Music streaming service Spotify sought to answer this question. To find out, Spotify’s research arm The Echo Nest “identified ‘core’ artists that are most central to each genre.” To quantify genre loyalty worldwide, the statisticians “divided the number of streams each core artist had by their number of listeners” and then normalized the charts.
Unsurprisingly (if you’re friends with any metalheads), metal fans are the world’s most loyal listeners. Pop came in second place, with folk, country and rock fans rounding out the top 5.
Spotify did point out that the analysis was based on ‘repeated listens’ from core artists. “One could reasonably conclude that Jazz, EDM, Classical, and Blues listeners play more fringe artists from those genres,” the company claimed.
In addition to the global charts, researchers at Spotify also broke out the analysis by nation to find state-specific loyal listeners for 15 countries including Brazil, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Norway and others. To say that there’s lots of information to pore through (and new genres to check out) would be an understatement.
One cool result of the data is the genre-specific intro playlists that Spotify made. For each country, the service made playlists of the most loyal genres from a variety of specific tastes. Interested in checking out an introduction to Australian hip hop? How about a primer on Brazilian punk? Breton folk (from France)? Spanish new wave? There’s a Spotify-generated playlist for all of those (and dozens more).
In the US, the most loyal genres have strong cultural ties — the top three being Regional Mexican, Latin Pop and, somewhat surprisingly, Native American. Emo and Metal round out the top five.
Genre loyalty certainly doesn’t mean the most popular genre but it does give insight into which genres have the most lasting effect on the listener. Whether it’s because of a genre’s visceral effect, nostalgia of home or the culture that surrounds a genre, listener loyalty is worthwhile to consider.