With the UNITED STATES increasingly becoming a predominantly multicultural nation, the COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION (CMA) recently commissioned a study to examine the opportunities for country music in this changing demographics. The study, presented to CMA members who signed up for a webinar last month, was conducted by HOROWITZ RESEARCH.
Research first showed that if six in 10 American adults listen to country music at least once a month, that number drops to half (five in 10) among non-white audiences. Among Black, Latino and Asian audiences, the top three reasons not to listen to Country were: “just not too much in it”, “not in mind / rarely think about putting it on” and “cannot relate to the vibe. The response ‘I don’t know much about this’ was also in the top five of the three groups. Among the black consumers studied, an additional response was “artists don’t build POC fans”. Asian and Latin audiences cited “unrelated lyrics” as a factor in not listening to Country.
There was somewhat better news in the perception of the evolution of country music. While 54% of white consumers believe Country is “branching out lately,” 40% of black consumers surveyed also believe it is. Among Latinx and Asian consumers, the number is 36%. The numbers are much higher among Country’s top listeners, with 71% of white fans, 66% of black and Asian fans, and 59% of Latinx fans saying they think the genre is branching out.
When asked what initiatives would have a positive impact on the diversity of the genre, all four groups (black, Latin, Asian and white) cited collaborations between country stars and artists from other genres. Other popular answers include:
° More black / Latin / Asian / other various artists
° Industry has done more to celebrate cultural diversity
° The artists defended racial / social justice
° Industry has done more to recognize black roots, and
° Industry has addressed issues of racial / social justice
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