Tag Archives: pop music

Pop Reigns Supreme (Again!) in Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3

Coleman Insights is releasing findings from its Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3 in a three-part blog series, followed by a free webinar on May 13th, in which the findings will be covered in greater depth. Details to register for that webinar are below.

In last week’s Tuesdays With Coleman blog, my colleague John Boyne evoked memories of the classic movie Groundhog Day when summarizing the findings of our Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3. The time-freezing impact of the coronavirus pandemic was evident in our findings, including how Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” finished as the number one song in the study for a second year in a row and how six of this year’s top ten songs also finished in the top ten in Contemporary Music SuperStudy 2.

This week we will delve more specifically into how different music genres fared in the study. While there are many similarities to our findings from a year ago, there are some differences worth examining in detail.

The most obvious similarity between our new findings and the results of Contemporary Music SuperStudy 2 is—as given away in the title of this blog— the continued strength of Pop titles. If you read my preview blog post about the study two weeks ago, you know that the list of titles we tested represent the most consumed songs of 2020, along with additional selections from the Alternative/Rock, Latin, and Dance/Electronic genres.

The Weeknd Blinding Lights second best testing song of 2020

The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” was the second best testing Pop song in Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3 behind Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You”

At 20%, Pop comprises only the third largest group of titles in the test list, behind Hip Hop/R&B at 31% and Country at 20%. When we focus on the Top 100 titles in Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3, however, we observe that 40% of them are Pop songs.

This “over performance” by Pop titles represents a pattern we have continually observed in our series of studies. Furthermore, Pop has now been the genre with the biggest share of the Top 100 in every Contemporary Music SuperStudy, and its 40% performance this year represents an increase from 35% last year.

Another similarity between this year’s results and previous editions of the Contemporary Music SuperStudy is the continued health of Hip Hop/R&B, which looks even stronger this year than in the two previous studies. While at 27% of the Top 100 it slightly under performs its 31% presence in the test list, Hip Hop/R&B makes up the second largest share of the best-testing titles and is up from 23% and 18% from Contemporary Music SuperStudy 1 and 2, respectively.

Finally, as we have seen in the two previous studies, Alternative/Rock and Dance/Electronic remain as secondary appetites among 12- to 54-year-olds in the United States and Canada. Alternative/Rock and Dance/Electronic are present in the Top 100 at roughly the same levels as they are among All Songs Tested, but at 10% and 9% respectively, their presences among the best-testing titles are relatively low.

The biggest difference we see in our findings pertains to the performance of Country titles, which have been on a rollercoaster ride across our first three installments of the Contemporary Music SuperStudy. This year, Country titles make up only 13% of the Top 100, which is considerably lower than their 21% presence in the overall test list.

This represents a turnaround from Contemporary SuperStudy 2, in which Country’s presence in the Top 100 nearly doubled from 12% in the previous year to 23%. When we shared these results roughly a year ago, it generated some optimism that Country music was poised for improvement from the struggles the genre appeared to be suffering. With its downturn this year, the sustainability of Country’s rebound comes into question; with that said, we should be cautious about making long-term projections based on data collected during what we know is a unique time in music and audio entertainment consumption due to the pandemic.

A noteworthy aspect of Country’s surge last year and weaker performance this year is revealed when we break out our data by geography. As it has in all three of our studies, Country led the Top 100 among Rural consumers in Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3, and its 43% presence this year is down only slightly from 48% last year. Among Suburban consumers, however, Country’s fortunes have clearly changed. Last year, Country’s 27% presence in the Top 100 among Suburban consumers represented a tripling from 9% in the first Contemporary SuperStudy; this year, the same figure has plummeted to 7%.

Breakdowns like these—covering age, gender, ethnicity, politics, media consumption, and more—will be the subject of the final Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3 blog from Sam Milkman next week.

In addition, register now for our Contemporary Music SuperStudy 3 webinar on May 13th from 2p-3p EDT, when we’ll go in-depth on the state of contemporary music. In the meantime, keep an eye out for next week’s Tuesdays With Coleman blog for more sneak peek findings from the study.

Please join us for both!

What Shapes Our Music Tastes

Tuesdays With Coleman

Coleman Insights is releasing findings from its Contemporary Music SuperStudy in a four-part blog series, followed by a free webinar on April 30th in which the findings will be covered in greater depth. Details to register for that webinar are below.

In the two previous installments of Tuesdays With Coleman, we shared two primary findings from our Contemporary Music SuperStudy:

1)            Hip Hop/R&B was the most consumed genre of 2018 and is the music style that invokes the most passion. On the other hand, Hip Hop/R&B is significantly polarizing.

2)            Of the six genres of music represented in our study—Hip Hop/R&B, Pop, Country, Alternative/Rock, Electronic/Dance and Latin—Pop is the one sound that is highly popular with fans of every other genre.

This week, we’ll dig into demographics and reveal how age, gender and geography impacts music tastes. In addition, you’ll see the difference between daily streaming listeners and daily radio listeners—a finding that will illustrate why the radio airplay and streaming charts look different from one another.

POP OVER-PERFORMS WITH ALL AGE GROUPS, WHILE COUNTRY AND HIP HOP/R&B HAVE HEAVILY SKEWED AGE APPEAL

As we illustrated in our previous blog, Pop is the “glue” of contemporary music. Pop over-performs with the younger and older listeners in our study. Although Pop makes up only 19% of the titles we tested, it represents 42% of the Top 100 songs among 12- to 34-year-olds and 37% of the Top 100 with consumers between the ages of 35 and 54.

The appetites for Country lean significantly older; in fact, only one Country song—“Meant To Be” by Bebe Rexha (featuring Florida Georgia Line), a song that clearly straddles the Pop line—finishes among the Top 100 titles with 12- to 34-year-olds. In the 35-54 demographic, however, Country is very strong, making up 37% of the Top 100 songs, much higher than the 21% presence of Country titles in the study.

Conversely, Hip Hop/R&B is much stronger with younger listeners than with older listeners. These titles represent 33% of the test list and slightly over-perform with 12- to 34-year-olds, making up 35% of their Top 100 songs. Among 35- to 54-year-olds, however, Hip Hop/R&B’s Top 100 presence stands at only 7%.

Neither Dance/Electronic or Alternative/Rock demonstrates significant age skews with similar presences among the Top 100 songs with younger and older listeners. Latin titles are not significantly present among the Top 100 songs with either age group.

MEN MORE LIKELY TO LOVE HIP HOP/R&B, DANCE/ELECTRONIC AND ALTERNATIVE/ROCK; WOMEN MORE LIKELY TO LOVE COUNTRY

The most significant difference in contemporary genre appeal between genders is with Country. While Country represents 21% of the test list, it represents only 8% of the Top 100 with men. But Country actually slightly over-performs with women, representing 22% of their Top 100.

Hip Hop/R&B underperforms with both genders, while Dance/Electronic significantly over-performs with men and Alternative/Rock looks solid with men and women.

Which genre do men and women love equally? You guessed it…Pop. In fact, Pop’s 41% and 42% presence in the Top 100s of men and women, respectively, is more than twice the 19% presence of Pop titles in our study.

HIP HOP/R&B, DANCE/ELECTRONIC AND POP OVER-PERFORM IN URBAN AREAS, WHILE COUNTRY DOMINATES AMONG RURAL CONSUMERS

Hip Hop/R&B shows the most passion with those who live in urban areas, and least passion with those who live in rural areas. Meanwhile, the appeal of Country is dramatically rural. Country represents 21% of the test list, but 36% of the Top 100 titles with rural residents. Dance/Electronic over-performs with urban and suburbanites. Two genres over-perform with residents of all three geographic areas—Alternative/Rock and Pop.

THIS IS WHY STREAMING CHARTS ARE SO DIFFERENT FROM RADIO AIRPLAY CHARTS

Programmers often ask us, “Why are streaming charts so different from radio airplay charts?” The answer is simple: Consumers who use streaming frequently are more likely to be big Hip Hop/R&B fans, while the appetite for Country music is much stronger among daily radio listeners than it is with those who use audio streaming every day.

This helps explain why there’s so much Hip Hop/R&B and so little Country on the streaming chart.

Despite this finding, it is noteworthy that Pop is the only contemporary music genre that substantially over-performs with daily streamers and daily radio users. In comparison to the 19% presence of Pop titles in the study, they make up 43% of the Top 100 songs with daily streaming users and 40% of the Top 100 songs with daily radio listeners.

MORE FROM THE CONTEMPORARY MUSIC SUPERSTUDY

Next Tuesday, we’ll reveal the Top 10 songs in our Contemporary Music SuperStudy. And of course, we’ll also tell you which song brings up the rear.

We’ll also demonstrate for you the huge contemporary music taste differences we observe between those who have positive opinions of Donald Trump versus those with negative impressions of the President. Don’t fret, however, as there is hope in our finding that the same song is number one with Trump supporters and detractors. Check out our blog next week to learn what “the great unifier” is!

Register now for our Contemporary Music SuperStudy Deep Dive webinar, Tuesday, April 30 from 2p-3p EDT when we’ll provide an extended version of our Worldwide Radio Summit presentation and further insights into the current state of contemporary music.

There’s a Reason They Call it Pop Music

Tuesdays With Coleman

Coleman Insights is releasing findings from its Contemporary Music SuperStudy in a four-part blog series, followed by a free webinar on April 30th in which the findings will be covered in greater depth. Details to register for that webinar are below.

In part one of our four-part blog series covering the findings of our Contemporary Music SuperStudy, we shared that Hip Hop/R&B was the most consumed genre of 2018, and was the genre that invoked the most passion. But we also learned that high negatives tend to drive down overall evaluation numbers for Hip Hop/R&B, which is why Pop is the overall evaluation leader.

Each of the six genres represented in the study—Hip Hop/R&B, Country, Pop, Dance/Electronic, Alternative/Rock and Latin (based on heavy new music consumption)—have a certain number of fans. To be considered a genre “fan” in this study, respondents had to rate a verbal descriptor of the genre with a “5” on a one-to-five scale.

Contemporary Music SuperStudy

This week, we’ll look at some of the test results with each genre’s fans. It’s unsurprising, for example, that Hip Hop/R&B performs very well in the test with Hip Hop/R&B fans. But how did songs in the other genres test with Hip Hop/R&B fans? If I like songs in one genre, am I more or less likely to like songs in another? This gives us a measure of compatibility. Let’s start with Hip Hop/R&B.

HIP HOP/R&B AND POP OVERPERFORMS WITH HIP HOP/R&B FANS, WHILE COUNTRY, DANCE/ELECTRONIC, ALTERNATIVE/ROCK AND LATIN SIGNIFICANTLY UNDERPERFORM

While Hip Hop/R&B songs make up 33% of all songs tested, 63% of songs in the Top 100 average for R&B/Hip Hop Fans are Hip Hop/R&B songs. This is a significant over-performance compared to the entire list.

Hip Hop/R&B

We can also see that Pop is the only other over-performing genre with Hip Hop/R&B fans. They are fairly format-centric—only eight percent of songs in the Top 100 of Hip Hop/R&B fans come from genres outside of Hip Hop/R&B and Pop. Country is the big outlier, representing 21% of the overall list and only one percent of the Top 100 of Hip Hop/R&B fans.

COUNTRY FANS BEHAVE IN A SIMILAR FORMAT-CENTRIC WAY AS HIP HOP/R&B FANS, BUT POP IS THE COMMON THREAD

Just as Country songs significantly underperform with Hip Hop/R&B fans, Hip Hop/R&B is the big underperformer with Country fans. Though Hip Hop/R&B makes up 33% of the test list, it represents only four percent of the Country fans’ Top 100. Dance/Electronic, Alternative/Rock and Latin all underperform compared to the total list, just as they did for Hip Hop/R&B fans.

And just it is for Hip Hop/R&B fans, Pop is the one other genre that over-performs for Country fans.

Country music fans

THERE’S A REASON WHY THEY CALL IT “POP”

While the fans of other genres show varying degrees of interest in different types of music, there is one popular genre that fans of every contemporary style of music can agree on—Pop.

Alternative/Rock titles overperform in our study among Dance/Electronic fans, but Pop is the big over-performer.

Dance/Electronic fans

Much as Alternative/Rock titles overperform with Dance/Electronic fans, we observe “cross-compatibility” below, as Dance/Electronic titles are overrepresented among the Top 100 titles with Alternative/Rock fans. Nonetheless, Pop is a far bigger over-performer among Alternative/Rock fans.

Alternative/Rock fans

We see the same pattern emerge among Latin music fans, with Pop as the dominant over-performing genre.

Latin music fans

Finally, we see the expected over-performance of Pop with Pop fans. Note, however, the significant presences of Hip Hop/R&B, Country, Dance/Electronic and Alternative/Rock titles among the Top 100 of Pop fans. Not only does Pop perform well among the fans of other genres, its fans also express high interest in other genres of contemporary music.

Pop music fans

MORE FROM THE CONTEMPORARY MUSIC SUPERSTUDY

Next Tuesday, we’ll take another look at our findings from the Contemporary Music SuperStudy, when you’ll learn how age, gender and geography shape contemporary music listening habits.

Register now for our Contemporary Music SuperStudy Deep Dive webinar, Tuesday, April 30 from 2p-3p EDT when we’ll provide an extended version of our Worldwide Radio Summit presentation and further insights into the current state of contemporary music.