Music Genres + Brand Affinities — A StatSocial Exclusive

Feb 12, 2020 | Insights

What StatSocial has done below is sift through tens of millions of online users, identifying those who are the most passionate fans of one of six broad, overarching musical categories; pop, rap, rock and roll, country, electronic, and classical.

It is not the marketing of music, however, that we’re seeking to explore, but marketing to fans of music. The question: Which brands resonate most strongly with the fans of each musical genre?

We are also seeking to demonstrate what is just a taste of StatSocial’s unmatched ability to pair brands with the audiences who are, and will be, most excited by their products, and/or most receptive to their messaging.

How to Read the Below Charts

On the below charts, the “%” (percentage) column reports the actual percentage of each category’s audience that is a loyal consumer/supporter of the corresponding brand. The “INDEX” column reports the degree to which that percentage is in keeping with, falls short of, or is in excess of the baseline. For this entry, our baseline is the average American online audience.

In the Below Example: We can see here that 0.53% of rap fans are also engaging with ride-sharing app, Lyft. The INDEX score indicates that this segment-size exceeds what would be found within the average American online audience by 2.68 times.

These insights do not come out of a panel or survey. We’re analyzing tens of millions of consumers passionate about rap music, and every other major music genre.

So, let us proceed, category-by-category.


The contemporary idea of a pop star can be traced back to a few, but none more quickly comes to mind than Ms. Madonna Ciccone. Above she is pictured at the peak of her powers.

While also still applicable as the umbrella term to describe all popular music (particularly non-jazz/classical/musical theater music, recorded since the latter half of the 20th century, or “the rock and roll era” as some pundits might put it), pop — more so now than ever — is a genre unto itself.

Artists from any genre may wade into its waters, and it will liberally borrow from all genres as needed, but what Ariana Grande, or even Billie Eilish, does is really not so tidily nor accurately described by any name half as much as pop music.

The genre, no doubt, has fans to spare, and there are brands to which they and they most of all are especially loyal.

An interesting cross-section of brands are evident. Upscale beauty chain, Sephora, tops the list, during this period of history when makeup and all things beauty are experiencing a huge moment. The segment of this audience who are customers exceeds what would be found among the average American online audience by 2.98 times.

L-R: A Virgin America plane, and a Chase MasterCard

As you can see, footwear, banking, and even domestic travel all seem to be well present and accounted for among the brands that ascended to the top of this chart.


L-R: The late Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, and Joseph “DJ Run” (later “Rev. Run”) Simmons. Or, if you prefer, Run-DMC

Underscoring the oft made assertion that pop is a genre unto itself, as has been the case for 35-years, or more, there is no genre more popular than rap. It has ebbed and flowed, as all things will in popular culture, but it is definitely at high tide currently (does that metaphor work? I’m sticking with it).

Sports teams pepper the list, mostly those with superstar players, numerous championships, or originating from cities where the hip hop scenes are especially thriving.

L-R: The widely well-regarded most recent installment of 2K Sports’ ‘NBA 2K’ franchise, and a Manhattan location of Foot Locker.

Makeup, a footwear retailer, the developer of the incredibly popular ‘NBA2K’ series of video games, and team-sharing platform Slack all appeal to a segment of this audience at least twice the size of that which you’d find among the average American online audience.


Australian combo AC/DC. Here they are pictured with their legendary, late lead vocalist, Bon Scott (he in the Hawaiian shirt).

There are those who immediately connect with the poetry of “A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-wop-bam-boom!” on a primal level, and then there are those who don’t know what they’re missing.

Even, however, if for some reason the appeal of Little Richard’s nonsensical call to arms evades, or the existence of Little Richard himself has evaded, a music fan, they still might love one of the many musical sub-genres that fall under the grander category of rock.

And digging through their likes, loyalties, and preferences, a quite evident and diverse list of uniquely preferred brands emerges.

Topping off the list is the annual South By Southwest Conference and Festivals, a week-plus long brouhaha, held each March in Austin, Texas. SXSW attracts those — via three separate but overlapping festivals — from the music, film, and interactive industries, helping them introduce to the world some of their latest developments and offerings.

While all sorts of music can be heard, performed live, in every available corner of the Lone Star State’s capital during the fest, rock music is still alive and well, with its guitars proudly ringing out, throughout the event.

L-R: Iggy Pop performing during the 2003 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, as part of the first-ever reunion of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, The Stooges, and a Whole Foods Markets location

More live music, brick and mortar retail, stuff involving superheroes, two of our nation’s more “cult” major, professional sports, and Washington, D.C.’s remarkable Smithsonian Institution all find favor among the still marching rock soldiers to degrees exceeding what you’d find among the average American online audience by at least 2 ⅗ times (and as much as 4 ½ times).


L-R: Tammy Wynette and George Jones. Massive recording artists, and talents, both when performing individually as solo acts, and together as a duo. Also, both when performing as a married couple, and continuing to do so as a formerly married couple.

Like all the genres being explored here, country music is not a monolith. The contemporary country landscape encompasses the rather strikingly diverse likes of both Luke Bryan and Sturgill Simpson. The tent being big enough for both artists catering to contemporary popular trends, and those more concerned with American music’s traditions, is nothing new.

But, diverse though this audience may be when it comes to musical preferences, identifying clear and distinct brand preferences was really quite easy.

While country is listened to in every corner of the United States, and its biggest artists sell out arenas and big theaters everywhere from Jacksonville to New York City, and from Dallas to Seattle, the southern flavor of the above list is beyond dispute.

L-R: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in Memphis, TN, which specializes in treating children with catastrophic diseases, but does not charge the families of patients a cent, and the St. Jude sponsored Toyota, driven here by NASCAR driver Alex Bowman in 2013

A love for sport kicks things off, with the extremely popular NASCAR finding favor with this bunch to a degree that exceeds our baseline by a little bit over a rather noteworthy 7½ times.

Fast food, some from national chains of quite southern origins, an airline that caters largely to those coming to and leaving the south, and a couple of sports teams whose home cities fall below the Mason-Dixon Line, all appear on the list.

The list closes revealing this audience’s philanthropic streak. Memphis’ St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital finds support among the country crowd to a degree that exceeds what is found among the average American online audience by 3 ⅗ times. St. Jude specializes in treating the most devastating of juvenile diseases, all at no cost to the patients or their families.


The legendary and indescribably influential, Aphex Twin (aka, Richard D. James). In the 90s, when Electronic music — of many genres — was dominating the European charts, he was one of the very few truly Electronic acts to experience legitimate chart success in the U.S.

Electronic, again, can mean a lot of things, and encompasses a vast number of genres and outright experimental styles. The below list, however, much like the country list truthfully, feels particularly “on brand” (which itself is “on brand” when exploring preferred brands, and we could go on like this).

Kicking off our list, there is Electric Daisy Carnival (or, EDC). EDC is an internationally staged, annual series of electronic music festivals. The flagship event takes place each May in Las Vegas. Currently there is also one other stateside EDC event in Orlando, plus festivals in Mexico City, Tokyo, and Shanghai. EDC attendees are identifiable to a degree that exceeds our baseline by 10.19 times.

L-R: A still image from Nintendo’s ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,’ and an Ableton workstation

Next we have digital audio recording and performing software, Ableton. In addition to its functions as a tool for recording, mixing, mastering, and assisting in arranging and composing, it has a number of functions explicitly designed to be played live. Or, in other words, it functions as an instrument in addition to being a digital audio recording workstation.

Native Instruments — whose users can be found here to an extent that exceeds the baseline by 5.34 times — is a German developer of digital recording software and hardware.

Tomorrowland is an annual festival that takes place in Belgium. It attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees, and — not unlike the Coachella festival — is staged over two weekends. Fans of the fest can be found here to a degree that exceeds what you’d find among the average American online audience by 2 ¾ times.

An extremely popular electronic and computerized consumer goods company, a fancy electric car manufacturer, a ride-sharing app, a sort of, kind of hip clothing and knick-knack retailer, and one of Japan’s two stalwart video game, and video game console, manufacturers (one of whom also has fingers in film, music, TV, and a vast array of consumer electronics) round out this list.

Sounds about right to us.


Above: Yehudi Menuhin, widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest violinists.

We heard you as you were reading this, before we even wrote it (you try to figure that one out). You were saying, “This is all well and good, StatSocial, but how about a touch of class?

We’re going to give you the culture you seek, and then some, as we look at the brands that rise above the rest with this (theoretically) most sophisticated of music audiences.

What we say above about sub-genres, and how these broad categories encompass a lot of different styles, etc., also applies here. But multiply everything by a span of centuries.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Well, you could take the N, Q, R, B, or really any of a number of trains, and bus lines, to 57th Street. Or is “practice” the answer you’re seeking.

This group here has no time for your silly jokes. They’re too busy putting away their opera glasses, as they’re not needed in Carnegie Hall, so excellent are its sight lines. (It’s also not that big a theater, in truth.)

Whether routine attendees, living in the New York metropolitan area, or patrons of a legendary cultural institution, fans of classical music support Carnegie Hall to a degree that exceeds what would be found within the average American online audience by a dizzying 64.12 times.

L-R: An interior shot of NYC’s legendary Carnegie Hall, and an exterior shot of NYC’s Lincoln Center, home to (among other things) the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera

Many other New York cultural institutions can be found here, receiving gigantic support. For example, Lincoln Center, which is a multi-theater complex, and the performing home of the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet, among other things. It finds supporters and/or attendees here to a degree exceeding the baseline by 60.38 times.

Charities, other venerable performing spaces, and important museums fill out this list. As they say (do not ask us whom, precisely, says this) “Classical fans gonna classical.”

Thank you for reading, enjoy going through this entry’s footer, and come on back to this blog for even more exciting insights.

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