As country music seeks to become more inclusive, a study commissioned by the Country Music Association finds that while the number of people of color enjoying the genre is on the rise, 20% report having experienced racial profiling and / or harassment during of a country music concert. an event.
This was one of the main takeaways from âThe Multicultural Opportunity of Country Music,â a study by Horowitz Research commissioned by the CMA, the results of which were presented in a webinar on December 7 by Karen Stump. , Senior Director of Market Research at CMA and by Director of Revenue and Ideas at Horowitz. & Head of Strategy Adriana Waterston.
The study also found that while 50% of all respondents who had listened to country music in a concert hall said they perceived the events as “convivial” and 43% said they felt “a sense of camaraderie with audience â, only 33% said theyâ often felt safe âat a country music event.
The study underscored the importance of reframing the perception that country audiences are âwhite,â given that research has shown that one in four black and Latino fans and one in five Asians listen to country music every week.
The Horowitz study included a three-week online community of Black, Latino, Asian and White participants, as well as an online survey of over 4,000 consumers, ages 18 and older, including 1,000 identified as Latinx. , 1,000 as black, 1,000 as Asian, and 1,000 as white / non-latinx.
Only 36% of study participants who listened to country music at a live location said they saw many people of the same race / ethnicity, while 23% said they felt they stood out because of the of their race / ethnicity. Additionally, 14% said they were made uncomfortable and unwelcome at such an event and 17% said they saw racist symbols, such as flags and hand gestures, while attending the event. a live country music event. White listeners over-indexed many of the âpositiveâ feelings listed, while black listeners more frequently reported feeling uncomfortable, believing they stood out because of their race / ethnicity.
As the country becomes more and more multiculturally diverse, it is essential that the country music community find a way to reach potential listeners who may feel left out of the genre. Over the past decade, the multiracial population has grown by 30%, according to Horowitz research. Specifically, the white population decreased by 8%, while the Hispanic and Asian-American populations increased by 20% each, and the black population of the United States increased by 8.5%.
Reach multicultural audiences
Multicultural listeners spend 2.9 out of 10 hours listening to country music, while white / non-Hispanic listeners spend 4.2 out of 10 hours listening to country music.
The study found that to increase engagement, engaging fans through video, YouTube, and TV is critical: while 69% of white participants report watching music-related video content every week, this percentage is higher for Blacks (76%), Latinx (79%) and Asians (75%) study participants.
The study also analyzed the audiences who most frequently used various platforms, indicating that only 45% of white participants reported using the free version of YouTube, compared to 51% of black participants, 55% of Asian participants, and 55%. Latinx participants. Overall, black participants over-indexed on platforms such as the free version of YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, while participants in the Latinx study over-indexed on platforms such as the free version of YouTube, Spotify, Tiktok and Instagram. Asian study participants overindexed on the free version of YouTube as well as Spotify.
Obstacles and Opportunities
When asked why participants didn’t listen to country music, the most frequently selected response was “Just not that into it,” a response chosen by 57% of Latinx participants, 53% of black participants, and 59%. Asian participants.
Going deeper, black, Latin and Asian study participants said that barriers preventing them from engaging in country music included not receiving streaming music playlists / recommendations that include country music, as well as the feeling that the country music industry is not interested in attracting people of color to the genre, that the country music industry does not promote or publicize them, and that ‘They don’t see enough black, Latino and Asian artists in country music.
According to the study, 35% of participants believe the industry is not interested in attracting people of color. However, among study participants who identify as ‘core’ country music listeners, 71% of core white listeners think country music has become more diverse in recent times, as do 66% of core listeners in the country. Asian country music, 59% of top Latinx listeners and 66% of Asian country music listeners. % of top black listeners.
Working on the diversity of country music
When asked which initiatives could have the most impact in attracting more multicultural listeners to country music, the most cited response from Black, Latino and Asian participants was collaborations with artists from other genres, as well as seeing more blacks, Latins, Asians, and other diverse country music artists, seeing more artists championing racial and social justice and the industry itself doing more to celebrate the cultural diversity.
The study found that it’s not just black, Latin and Asian country music listeners who are supporting these initiatives. Among the study’s âwhite coreâ country music listeners, many agreed with the same initiatives. 67% said they were ‘Very / Somewhat agree’ that they would like to see more collaborations between country artists and artists from other musical genres, while 60% said they were ‘Very / Slightly Agree “to see more Blacks, Latinxes, Asians and various country music artists, while 59% supported the industry by doing more to celebrate cultural diversity. 58% of white country music listeners supported performers who championed racial / social justice.