You might think that as musical genres splinter listeners would develop more specialized musical tastes, focusing their interests on a smaller number of genres, but some new research from Zogby International and the Norman Lear center provides some interesting perspective on the situation. Their survey is fairly broad, covering a wide variety of areas of culture and not going into much specific detail in any area, but one of their questions was “What types of music do you enjoy.”
It turns out that younger generations enjoy on average a larger number of genres than older generations do:
Furthermore, if you break down the enjoyment of genres by age demographic, you find two interesting things: First, in the younger demographics the distribution of enjoyment is more even, with a smaller difference between the percent of the population who enjoys the least popular genre and those who enjoy the most popular genre. In the 18-24 demographic, enjoyment of World is 20.17% and Rock is 80.26%, a difference of 60.09%, whereas in the 70+ demographic enjoyment of Punk is at 0% and enjoyment of Classical is at 73.45%. Second, even though enjoyment is more evenly distributed, enjoyment of the most popular genre is higher in the younger demographics than in the older demographics–enjoyment of Rock is at 80.26% in the 18-24 demographic, and enjoyment of classical in the 70+ demographic is 73.45%. Here are the graphs:
This survey unfortunately doesn’t differentiate among different degrees of enjoyment, so it’s hard to draw any firmer conclusions. For example, enjoyment of Classical in the 25-29 demographic is number 3 at 62.32% and in the 55-64 demographic it’s number 1 at 62.46%. As close as those numbers appear, it seems likely that the older demographic has higher intensity of enjoyment for Classical, but there’s no way to tell from this study. Nonetheless, the results that we can see are quite interesting.