Brits and Americans’ music taste differs widely – but so do men and women’s
June 8th, 2022, Janice Fernandes

Brits and Americans’ music taste differs widely – but so do men and women’s

According to data from YouGov Profiles, outside of rock and pop, Brits and Americans differ widely in their music tastes. When asked which music genres are their favorites, while there are a few similarities at the top of the list there are substantial differences further down.

Among all the music genres, pop and rock dominate the top of the preference list. While pop is the most popular genre among Britons (43%), it is second most popular among Americans (34%). Conversely, rock is the most popular genre among Americans (48%) and the second-most liked genre with the Brits (37%).

Country music is significantly more popular in the United States, with a third of Americans (33%) choosing the genre as one they are more likely to enjoy. Britons are less keen on country music, and in Great Britain, R&B music takes the third spot (25%). However, it is still less popular than it is in the States, where 29% of Americans picked the genre as a favorite.

Classical and indie music both register favor among a little over two in ten consumers (23% and 22% respectively) in Britain, rounding out the top five. But, while classical music registers the affection of a quarter of consumers in US (25%), Americans are not as likely to pick indie music (19%). Americans are more likely to pick rap/hip-hop (22%) and jazz (21%) as some of their favorite genres.

We broke down the data by gender to get a better understanding of musical preferences – an exercise which reveals some startling differences. Among the top five favorite music genres in Great Britain overall, men are more inclined towards rock and metal music at 44%. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to pick pop (48%) as the genre they prefer the most, with hard rock and metal coming a distant second (31%).

The only other genre among the top five which women are more likely to pick as their favorite is R&B (30% women vs. 20% men). Men prefer classical (25%) and alternative and indie (24%) more.

American men, like their British counterparts, also prefer hard rock and metal to other genres. Around half the men in America (51%) say it’s one of their favorite genres. Hard rock and metal also score highly with American women, with 45% picking the genre, making it females’ favorite. Women feel very strongly about pop music with nearly two in five (40%) picking it as a favorite, while over a quarter of men (28%) did the same.

American women are also more likely than men to pick country (36% vs. 30%) and R&B (33% vs. 25%) as one of their favorite music genres, while men are more interested in classical music (27%).

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Methodology: YouGov Global Profiles is a globally consistent audience dataset with 1000+ questions across 43 markets. The data is based on continuously collected data from adults aged 16+ in China and 18+ in other markets. The sample sizes for YouGov Global Profiles will fluctuate over time, however the minimum sample size is always c.1000. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from India and UAE, which use urban representative samples, and China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, which use online representative samples. Learn more about Global Profiles.