Due to the overall interest in music, the conditions in Austria for music creators are generally good. After watching TV and – surprisingly - reading, listening to music was reported in third place among the most popular Austrian recreational activities. Less positive is that they mean listening to background music. However, attentive listening on a daily basis, reported by almost 20% of the respondents, still ranges far ahead of the consumption of other performance forms such as theatre or cinema.
The question as to which styles of music the Austrian population loves is an interesting one. The 2010 study quoted here differentiates between three stages of liking and three stages of disliking.
It is the “Oldies“ which predominate (technical term: adult contemporary), scoring 80% likes. If you want to make it to the Oldies league, you must first have made it to the current charts (technical term: contemporary hit radio), where the score is almost 60% likes.
This is followed by classical music, and rock music off the charts (album oriented rock, which includes singer/songwriters, alternative and indie rock etc.) (50% likes). 47% like popular and folk music, 41% like jazz and world music respectively. Brass-band music and hip-hop/black music score just over 30%, ahead of techno/house, scoring almost 20% and 13% who like contemporary and new music. However, the latter of which is totally unknown to nearly half of the population.
With genuine fans, i.e. those who spontaneously name a particular style as their preferred music, folk and popular music is most often quoted, scoring 17.6%, ahead of rock off the charts scoring 15%, Oldies (10.2%) and classical music (10%), and only then followed by pop and charts (8.5%). 2.4% of the respondents still claimed they were fans of Austropop.2 The largest group (17.9%) responded that they did not fancy any particular style of music.
The Audience: Michael Huber, Wozu Musik. Musikalische Verhaltensweisen, Vorlieben und Einstellungen der Österreicher/innen, Wien, mdw Department of Music Sociology 2010, p. 27