Professor Hope Weighs In On Reggae’s Top 10 Music Genre Ranking

Reggae’s ranking as the world’s 10th most favourite music genre, ahead of approximately 500, including Afrobeats which did not make the list, was a subject of discussion for “Dancehall Doctor” Professor Donna P. Hope, during Friday’s edition of The Entertainment Report.

Commenting on the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI) Engaging with Music 2022 study, which was released on Thursday, Professor Hope said it was a significant point to note.

“I saw the information that Reggae ranks number 10.  That’s important in a world where there are many other forms of music that are globally recognised,” Professor Hope said.

Interestingly, while the IFPI compared more than 500 music genres in its study, audio streaming services provider Spotify has reported that it has identified more than 1,500 genres of music on its platform.

During the interview, Television Jamaica’s entertainment journalist Anthony Miller pointed out that Afrobeats was not in the coveted top 10 list of the Engaging with Music 2022 study, a point which attracted an immediate response from Professor Hope, who is a lecturer in Culture, Gender, and Society at the University of the West Indies.

“And, this is the conversation that we need to have.  While we are being told that Afrobeats is pushing Dancehall out of the way, it did not make it on that list,” Professor Hope stated.

“It (Afrobeats) is a new enough genre; it will take some time for it to get to that level of recognition globally that Jamaican music, Reggae and Dancehall for example, have garnered over many years since the development of our music industry,” she added.

Released on Thursday, the Engaging with Music 2022, was described by the IFPI as a “global study”, which explored “the ways that people listen to, discover, and engage with music around the world”. 

It was carried out amongst a demographically representative sample of the online population aged 16-64 in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, UK and the United States.

According to the IFPI, the Engaging with Music 2022, which is the largest music-focused consumer study worldwide, was also conducted amongst 16 to 44-year-olds in China, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria.   

It noted, however, that 2021 results from China and India are not included in ‘global’ figures cited in this report as the size of these countries would have a considerable impact on the weighted average figures used, neither were results from Indonesia and Nigeria, as the countries were newly added to the survey in 2022.

The study surveyed more than 44,000 internet users in total, with higher numbers of respondents in larger markets, with samples of 1,000, 2,000, or 4,000 respondents per market “set in accordance with online population size and demographic structure, as determined by the latest respective census data in each territory”.

The study had also revealed that “overall, people listen to an average of 8 genres of music” and “the number of favourite genres is highest in those people most engaged with music such as people who subscribe to audio streaming and those who buy vinyl: both groups listen to 9 genres on average”.

It also noted that “the enduring popularity of radio continues, and music remains the key reason for people to tune in to their favourite stations around the world, as the “enduring popularity of radio continues, with 73 percent of respondents saying that they listen to radio primarily for music”.

The report explained that “on average, people across the globe use more than six different methods to engage with music – ranging from video streaming to terrestrial radio, television, film, gaming soundtracks, creating short-form videos and much more”.

In general, it noted that music fans have been “listening to more music today than ever before, spending on average 20.1 hours listening to music weekly, up from 18.4 hours in 2021”. 

It also revealed that more than 45 percent of music fans choose paid subscription services, while 46 percent of respondents use subscription audio streaming services, “which offer uninterrupted and on-demand access to millions of licensed tracks”.