Why Heavy Metal Has The Most Loyal Fans

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Spotify  published data last month that shows heavy metal has the most loyal fans across the world of any major genre by a wide margin. The music streaming service put together a series of charts and interactives showing the variety of musical genres online and how these genres vary around the world. Pop came in second place, with folk, country and rock fans rounding out the top five.

To find out, Spotify first identified the “core” artists that, according to The Echo Nest (a part of Spotify), are most central to each genre, starting with the big ones, on a global level. Then they did  the same thing with local genres in various countries around the world. To create a measure of genre loyalty, they divided the number of streams each core artist had by their number of listeners. All of the charts are normalized against the genre with the loyalest fans.

After Metal and Pop, the rest of the genres cluster into two groups. Folk, Country, and Rock fans have a higher loyalty score, and Hip Hop does fairly well too, while Jazz, EDM, Classical, and Blues scores are not as high, suggesting that those listeners don’t adhere as closely to the core of their favored genre. (Reggae sits between the two groups.)

Aside from the obvious conclusions that Metal fans are the most loyal of all and Pop fans are also fairly loyal globally, one could also conclude that the more guitar-oriented genres inspire more loyalty in the listener. It’s worth remembering Spotify methodology here: We looked for repeated listens to the core artists from each genre — the ones sitting right at the “center” of the genres, as it were. So one could also reasonably conclude that Jazz, EDM, Classical, and Blues listeners play more fringe artists from those genres.

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