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Is classical music dying or far from it?



A new study titled “The Classical Music Market: Streaming’s Next Genre?” commissioned by classical streaming service Idagio.com, claims that 35% of the global adult population in eight major countries listens to classical music which is more than many people anticipated.

Of 8000 people surveyed in those eight music markets – the UK, US, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Mexico, and South Korea – 30% of listeners under the age of 35 and 31% aged 25-34 indicated that they listen to classical music. 41% of study-identified “classical music fans” were age 55+, 15% were 45-54, 15% were 35-44, and 18% were 25-34 which means that big chuck of fans are 55+ and surprisingly 25~34 years old age class is second largest group.

Equally significant, MIDiA, the UK based company that conducted the survey, reported that 42% of classical listeners surveyed stated that they discover classical music through streaming services.


In the US, 39% “usually listen to classical music over speaker rather than headphones, “44% sit down at home to listen to classical music,” and 57% “listen to classical music in the background while doing other things,“


Contrast that with the huge classical market in South Korea, where 33% listen over speakers rather than headphones (understandable given majority of population reside in high rise apartment), 59% listen while seated at home, and 48% listen in the background.

Least likely to listen to classical music in the background were people in Mexico and Denmark and listeners in these countries sit down at home to listen to classical music.

Digging deeper into MIDiA’s white paper reveals that the majority of these classical music lovers were “enthusiasts” (51% female, 49% male). Only 4% of consumers across the eight countries registered as “aficionados” (44% female, 56% male with classical music which indicate that slightly more women like classical music than men do but more men become aficionados of classical music.

The survey also reveals that 46% of respondents thought that classical streaming was a great way to listen to classical music and 40% favored the use of playlists.

This raise a bunch of questions. What percentage of “enthusiasts” prefer relaxing piano classics, easy listening pieces, light classical, movie soundtracks, ambient offerings over challenging music that demands concentration? We assume that 55+ age group tends to favor challenging music demanding concentration but young age group such as 24~34 olds tended to prefer more relaxing light classical, movie soundtracks but this is an assumption and would been great if the survey dig deeper into those enthusiasts.

At least, the survey outcome shows us that classical music has a much wider audience than most would assumed and it is a long way from dying music genre and classical music also evolve into something that suits both old and young generations.

Happy Listening.

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