The Audience

Basically, the conditions in Austria for music creators are good as far as interest in music in general is concerned. After watching TV and – surprisingly - reading, listening to music was stated in the third place as being the most preferred recreational activity of Austrians. What is less positive is that they refer to “listening to music on the side”. Attentive listening to music on a daily basis, stated by almost 20% of the respondents, still ranges far ahead of the consumption of other forms of art such as theatre or cinema.

The question as to which styles of music the Austrian population loves is an interesting one. The study quoted here differentiates between three stages of like and three stages of dislike.

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 have first 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-hip/black music score just over 30%, ahead of techno/house, scoring almost 20% and 13% who like contemporary and new music. However, the latter is unknown to almost one 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 quoted most often, 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 after all said 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