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Which is the most popular electronic music style in 2011?

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Dubstep? House? Electro? What's the sound of now? Research results right here!

You know the scene: It's 2.30am at the club, and there's that subtle change in atmosphere happening on the dancefloor. The drunks are getting headaches and going home. Various other types are fading away or moving on, leaving the "heads" filling the floor... the ones who are there for the music. The ones who live for the deep sound and that 3AM eternal feeling that happens when the DJ drops that dancefloor bomb that washes away yesterday's troubles in a river of bass...

Yes, it's the late-night ritual of the global electronic music culture, said to be "the greatest single form of all-night recreation yet conceived of". [ Hmm... well, maybe it's the second greatest... but anyway, it's pretty great. ]


The script of this neo-tribal ritual is essentially the same as it was 20 years ago - but the styles shift and change. Technology evolves and the sound takes on new forms and new colors; new musical genres, each with their own defining characteristics.

But have you ever wondered which of the electronic music genres is the biggest? How many people around the world are moving to the same pulse? Has a certain new style "blown up" worldwide or is it still an underground movement?

Well, here it is folks: About as good an indicator as you're probably going to get of exactly how much interest is currently being generated by the various electronic music styles: We used keyword research to measure how much action the genres are getting in Google, worldwide. A few surprises...

Below: March 2011 global figures for how many "exact match" [1] searches the following phrases are getting in one month in Google.

hip hop 550,000 [2]
dubstep 368,000
reggaeton 301,000 [3]
techno 165,000
disco 165,000
house music 135,000 [4]
electronica 135,000
trance 110,000 * [5]
electro 90,500
dub 74,000
drum and bass 60,500
hardstyle 60,500
ambient 60,500 *
electro house 49,500
dancehall 49,500
chill out 40,500
techno music 33,100
trip hop 33,100
glitch 27,100
crunk 27,100
grime 22,200
trance music 22,200
breakbeat 18,100
psytrance 14,800
deep house 14,800
progressive house 14,800
disco music 14,800
minimal techno 12,100
happy hardcore 12,100
ambient music 12,100
goa trance 9,900
acid house 9,900
bassline 9,900 *
tech house 9,900
breaks 9,900 *
funky house 8,100
chiptune 8,100
8 bit music 8,100
vocal trance 8,100
chill out music 6,600
2 step 6,600
jungle music 5,400
industrial music 5,400
darkwave 5,400
nu jazz 5,400
synthpop 5,400
progressive trance 5,400
breakcore 5,400
downtempo 5,400
chillout music 4,400
dark ambient 4,400
big beat 4,400
tribal house 4,400
uk garage 4,400
synth pop 3,600
garage music 3,600
hard trance 3,600
detroit techno 3,600
uplifting trance 2,900
glitch hop 2,900
hard house 2,900
brostep 2,400
uk funky 2,400
chicago house 2,400
miami bass 1,900
speed garage 1,900
ambient house 1,900
vocal house 1,900
nuskoolbreaks 1,600
hardstep 880
ambient trance 720
nu nrg 590
illbient 480
ghetto tech 390
sublo 260

Here are a few more music genres for size comparison:

reggae 450,000
rap 368,000
jazz 301,000
blues 165,000
country 135,000
heavy metal 135,000
ethiopian music 135,000
country music 110,000
classical music 90,500
rock n roll 60,500
classic rock 60,500
piano music 27,100
bhangra 22,200
baroque music 18,100 a few electronic music artists - this was interesting:

daft punk 450,000
tiesto 301,000
swedish house mafia 201,000
sasha 90,500
orbital 90,500
the prodigy 90,500
bassnectar 74,000
kraftwerk 74,000
rusko 60,500
caspa 60,500
aphex twin 60,500
magnetic man 40,500
paul oakenfold 33,100
skream 22,200
pete tong 22,200
afrika bambaataa 18,100
benga 14,800
glitch mob 14,800
frankie knuckles 5,400


1) Google's publicly-available keyword research tool was the one used for this research. "Exact match" means that the exact phrase, letter-for-letter, in that word order, rather than "a phrase including these words", is the one that the searcher typed into Google. The exact match metric gives the most accurate picture of actual searches performed.

2) Before you write to me and say "Hip hop isn't an electronic music style"... yeah, I know. It's not, strictly - it's more properly considered an urban style. I put it in as a yardstick for comparison, although it does use drum machines, samplers and turntables... which makes it pretty electronic if you ask me. Same goes for reggaeton.

3) Google's keyword tool rounds the number of searches to arbitrary round numbers such as the ones seen in the list. I have no idea why those numbers are the ones chosen, another one of the big G's many mysteries...

4) Some search terms are by their nature somewhat ambiguous; in other words, some of the people entering that word or phrase into google might be looking for something else entirely. For example someone typing "hardcore" into google might be looking for stone aggregate, music, or adult movies! Same applies for "house" - so these words were not included in our listing, they are too ambiguous to give an accurate picture. For this reason also, I have included a number of "________ music" phrases, but these are not likely to be completely reliable: Note that the search terms "techno" and "trance" both outnumber the respective terms "techno music" and "trance music" by a factor of about 5.5 to 1. Given that "house music" scores much higher than '"techno music", we can estimate that the size of the house music genre may well be bigger than represented here - but as "house" is a much more ambiguous word than "techno", more searchers will have used the phrase "house music".

5) A star * indicates potentially ambiguous phrases I have included in the results, although they are likely to include some searches for other meanings. In other words, the true figure should be adjusted downwards (but of course by an unknown amount).

* * * * * * *

Did I miss any important genres? Let me know... also if you like this page, hit the "like" button (top of page) and we'll do this again next year! AA


The Rich Musician homepage and more articles.
Wikipedia's gigantic list of music styles Big shout out to Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music

Inquiries - alexalcyone [[[[att]]]]

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