Study: Mexico listens to the most music, South Africa has most music “fanatics”

According to the IFPI's annual report of global listening habits

Mexico Music Statistics Data Global listening habits

Mexicans listen to the most hours of music per week, South Koreans buy the most music, and South Africa has the most self-described “music fanatics.” These are some of the takeaways from the IFPI’s annual report of listening habits around the globe.

The IFPI, or International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, is a non-profit that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide. This year, they surveyed 34,000 internet users aged 16-64 across 21 countries that represent over 92% of global music revenues.

In 2019, average music listening climbed to 18 hours a week, up from 17.8 hours in 2018. Mexico leads the way, with the average respondent listening to 25.6 hours each week, or more than three-and-a-half hours a day. Rock is Mexico’s most popular genre, followed by pop and then Latin pop. Regional Mexican music is 4th, oldies are 5th, reggaeton 8th, and despite being the fastest growing genre, metal is 10th.

On the other end of the spectrum is South Korea, where respondents listened to 13.9 hours a week. But of course, frequency isn’t the only way to judge the enthusiasm of fans. South Koreans buy far more music than any other country, with 44% of respondents purchasing some form of music in the last month. That’s 10% higher than the next closest country, the US, and almost 20% higher than the global average.

The final way that the IFPI attempted to measure fan enthusiasm is perhaps the simplest: They asked respondents how much music means to them. Only 2.5% of respondents said it’s “unimportant”, and over half described themselves as either “music lovers” or “music fanatics.” South Africa came in first by this measure, with 75% of those surveyed calling themselves “lovers” or “fanatics”. The US and Mexico tied for second at 62%.

For other odd tidbits (Why does the Netherlands listen to so much broadcast radio? Why are movie soundtracks so popular in China?) be sure to check out the full report. We’ll leave you with the 10 most popular music genres worldwide:

The World’s Favorite Music Genres:
01. Pop
02. Rock
03. Oldies
04. Hip-hop/Rap
05. Dance/Electronic
06. Indie/Alternative
07. K-Pop
08. Metal
09. R&B
10. Classical


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