Kim Kelly of Noisey reports:

Every diehard metalhead alive and breathing knows that A. heavy metal is the law, and B. other genres pale in comparison, but it’s always nice to see some quantifiable data to that effect…

… Spotify threw heshers a bone recently by releasing a slew of figures that detail by exactly how wide a margin heavy metal is ruling the streaming airwaves.

The study sought to determine which genre’s fans were the most loyal—i.e. returned most frequently to their favorite artists. As Spotify noted, “To create a measure of genre loyalty, we 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.”

 Metal was the clear winner. From Portugal to the United States to (of course) Norway, metal holds down a spot in the top ten—and usually top five—most loyally listened to genres in every country included in the study. Metal also takes the overall global genre loyalty crown, leaving pop to trail behind as a distant second and folk, country, and hip-hop to founder in the dust.

As Mashable notes, Spotify calculated their data around sets of core bands for each genre, with metal’s champions comprising Metallica, Slayer, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Sepultura, Pantera, Cradle of Filth and Anthrax…

…Given metal fans’ fierce loyalty to their chosen genre and propensity for making physical purchases, it makes perfect sense that they’d be spending the most time pressing replay on old Iron Maiden songs…

…While fans of most other genres are drawn to shiny new artists, metal fandom is generational; new recruits are encouraged to appreciate the bands that came before and build up chronological knowledge while still keeping abreast of current developments…

That same Mashable piece did its best to make sense of the notion that, not only does metal still exist after “the heyday of the genre in the 1980s and 1990s,” but more people than ever have fallen under its spell…

…As this Spotify data shows, metal is a global business, and metalheads are everywhere. The mainstream media and greater music industry are only hurting themselves by ignoring and belittling this rich vein of hugely dedicated, internationally-based fans, most of whom are more than prepared to shell out as much cash as they can on merchandise, print magazines, and physical music. Metal doesn’t need them, but as streaming services continue doling out pennies and sales of physical music continue to fall, they just may find that they need metal… and it sure can’t hurt for them to treat it—and by extension, us—with a bit more respect until that fateful day comes.

Read more at Noisey.

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  • robert davenport on

    This report is great news – but why is it that pop and hip hop still dominate radio and most media ? I understand why country is huge , why is hard rock and metal so hated and ignored by mainstream media ???? It makes zero sense ~

    • Dana on

      Great question. Maybe it behind the scenes politics?

  • RTunes68 on

    I’d be curious to know if Spotify knows what the age range and the median age of the metal listeners are….

  • nltcrow on

    Am I the only one who sees this article is from 2015, nearly 4 years old?

    • Dana on

      Whoops, oh well. It was sent to me, and I guess the sender did not notice the date, either.

      One can only hope this is still the trend.

      D 🙂

  • robert davenport on

    4 yrs old ….. god I hope those stats still hold up today , but I suspect from all the crap that passes as music that I see and hear that they don’t – Dana can you do some digging ?? I’m going to

  • Acid Kritana on

    Ah, yes, I knew it! I don’t use spotify, but I will now. Plus, what about newer bands such as Slipknot?

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