Study Highlights Country Music’s Increasing Popularity

| 03/01/2013 | 2 Replies

CounrtyChartNew research evidence has emerged to support country music’s increasing popularity. NPD Group’s Annual Music Study 2012 measured a 1% increase in the percentage of Country music fans to a total of 28%. Fans of Classic Rock, previously the top format choice dropped 2% to 27%. The survey asks consumers about favorite musical genres, including according to NPD, “not only what they actively listened to, but also the music they purchased and the concerts they attended.” Country was in fact the most popular choice among all age demographics. Classic Rock was most popular among listeners age 36 and older.

These results support anecdotal evidence of country music’s growth based upon a number of events including it’s strong performance at the 2013 Grammy Awards plus the fact that the Grammy nominations TV show was held in Nashville. Network weekly TV show Nashville features country music and has also added fuel to this perception of country’s music and lifestyle appeal and last, but not least, a mainstream country music channel has returned to New York City radio dial for the first time in many years.

The NPD survey consisted of surveys from over 5,400 individuals and data is projected to be representative of the U.S. Internet population (age 13 and older). According to NPD, consumers were polled about their three favorite genres.

“Country music has become America’s favorite genre, mostly because of its diversity and the accessibility of its artists to young and old alike,” said Russ Crupnick, Sr. VP of Industry Analysis at NPD. “It doesn’t hurt that fans of country music, who were always strong CD buyers, are rapidly adopting newer forms of music acquisition and listening options, including digital music downloads and streaming services.”

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Journalist, entrepreneur, tech-a-phile, MusicRow magazine founder, lives in Nashville, TN. Twitter him @davidmross or read his music industry reports at Nekst.biz Also circle him on Google+.

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  1. Mike says:

    Why does this poll seem to conflict with Billboard data? Only 2 of the top 10 selling albums of 2012 were from country artists. Taylor Swift “Red” barely counts as country, so one might argue that only one true country album makes the top 10. If country is truly America’s favorite genre, shouldn’t album sales reflect this?

    • David M Ross says:

      Mike, thanks for your comment. One reason for the difference you note might be because the two polls are measuring different thins. Billboard is sales and the NPD study is simply overall popularity when you factor in concert tickets, radio listening and sales….

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