Republicans Statistically Proven to be Boring Music Fans

If you’re voting for Romney and watching Fox News on a regular basis, you’re probably pretty boring when it comes to music.

And, you probably also have less interesting and less diverse musical tastes than an Obama supporter.  But that’s not based on casual observation, it’s now codified in research published by The Echo Nest, the ‘big data’ company that just rallied $17.3 million in financing from Norwest Venture Partners and others.

Which will ensure that late-night data-geeking will remain alive and well.  After all, you need lots of pizza and Monster Energy Drink to come up with graphs like this one.

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In more layman terms, this shows that self-identified Republicans simply listen to a less diverse collection of music.  “The Democrat curve is smoother, indicating that those people listen to more types of music overall,” explained Echo Nest cofounder and CTO Brian Whitman.

The breakdown is based on ‘Taste Profiles’ collected over years across a number of services powered by Echo Nest.  “We’ve been collecting this (completely anonymized of course) data for a while now and started looking into what correlations exist between music, psychographics, demographics and other media preferences,” Whitman continued.  “It turns out music preference is pretty well correlated with political affiliation.”

So much so, that Whitman found that he could actually predict who was Republican with a high degree of accuracy based on their musical tastes and selections alone.  And part of the reason is that there’s a narrow dataset to investigate, which makes it more predictable.  Democrats, by virtue of their broader preferences, were a bit harder to pin down (while metalheads seemed more dialed-out of the two-party system).

But there are also lots of correlations to actual artists themselves.  Including, unsurprisingly, a huge correlation between Republicans and country fans.  Indeed, Red State/Blue State stratification is clearly expressed in our musical tastes.

Artists whose fans are most correlated to Republican.

1. Kenny Chesney

2. George Strait

3. Reba McEntire

4. Tim McGraw

5. Jason Aldean

6. Blake Shelton

7. Shania Twain

8. Kelly Clarkson

9. Pink Floyd

10. Elvis Presley

Artists whose fans are most correlated to Democrat.

1. Rihanna

2. Jay-Z

3. Madonna

4. Lady Gaga

5. Katy Perry

6. Snoop Dogg

7. Chris Brown

8. Usher

9. Eminem

10. Bob Marley

31 Responses

  1. Central Scrutinizer

    Pink Floyd!?

    Set the Controls indeed.

  2. Casey

    The Echo Nest algorithm used to powered music services fails to deliver balanced playlists and music I want to hear every time. I’ll believe their research once they can start producing a product that cannot be outperformed by a shuffle button.

  3. Independents?

    What about Independents? Registered independents are a plurality in the United States.

    • paul

      On that note, these artists were not predictive towards either party. Meaning, if you tended towards these artists, you didn’t necessarily tend towards Democrat or Republican.

      Artists whose fans are hardest to predict for either Democrat or Republican

      1. The Beatles

      2. Marilyn Manson

      3. The Rolling Stones

      4. Johnny Cash

      5. Pantera

      6. Alice in Chains

      7. Paradise Lost

      8. Moonspell

      9. Fleetwood Mac

      10. Tiamat

      • Myles na Gopaleen

        Hmmm….

        Tiamat

        I just can’t decide….

  4. Erik P

    Such a ridiculous article. The fact that you can’t keep politics out of your site & stick to the topic has led me to delete you from my feed forever.

    • Guy R. Brewer

      Consider drinking a beer?

      I find it helps with perspective.

    • NR

      It’s an election year. Some politics-related articles are bound to pop up. Get over it.

    • Myles na Gopaleen

      Also, Republicans notorious for having no sense of humor

  5. tippysdemise

    a cursory glance at the bills for sean hannity’s “freedom concerts” would certainly bear this out.

  6. ARD

    Pretty (predictably) pathetic. Why must outfits like DMN shill for democrats by trying to play the “cool” card? Look where Mr Cool has gotten us. BTW, pretty sure that The Echo Nest would find that the “boring” public actually pays for music.

  7. @tannenbaumr

    Conservatives have worse taste in music than liberals; now there’s proof other than Lee Greenwood.

  8. @jonbaltz

    Does the GOP like boring music? Only if you believe data and facts.

  9. AG

    This is pretty ridiculous. Republicans skew slightly older than Democrats (people tend to get more conservative once they have real responsibilities in the world), and older people have more “boring” taste in music than younger people.

  10. music fan

    The one big surprise in all of this is Pink Floyd, especially considering their counterculture origins in the 60’s and the anti-establishment message of a lot of their music.

    • Jon

      Given that Tim McGraw’s a well-known Democrat, his appearance on the Republican list is kinda surprising, too.

  11. music fan

    “people tend to get more conservative once they have real responsibilities in the world”

    I must disagree with this – I know plenty of people with a lot of responsibilities who have not become conservative at all.

    “older people have more “boring” taste in music than younger people. ”

    Unfortunately this is probably true. (I say this as someone well into middle age myself.)

    • mdti

      The younger do have more boring tastes than the grown ups. They only go by “novelty”. boring…..

  12. Wine Runner

    Silly article to keep us laughing. I’m very conservative and few of the listed artists for conservatives are my favorites AND nearly none of the artists listed for Democrats are my favorites.

    Stick to the hard news and keep your personal political views out of your reporting.

    • Oleander's

      hey wine runner.

      I need a bottle of your finest syrah.

      and make it snappy!

    • Erik P

      “Stick to the hard news and keep your personal political views out of your reporting.”

      Exactly!

  13. mdti

    I found it entertaining.

    But the real conclusion is missing.

    It is the answer to the question:

    in the conservative loved bands, which ones are democrats

    and vice versa 🙂

    it would give indication on wether people listen to music that “belongs” to their political views, or does the artists’ political views have any influence over who is listening to them…

    FOr an artist, supporting a political party can have a lot of effects, positive or negative, but what I have seen is generally “negative” when the artist supports a political party that is not coherent with his fan base.

    Many artist will say: nah, artists don’t have to talk about politics

    Other will say: yes, making art may be political, and it should be.

    An other will say that: the famous artists are the ones with a social or a political proposal, and then it is for politics to execute it.

    It is not “unrelated” to say the least.

  14. Myles na Gopaleen

    I would argue that the dem list is as boring as the rep list

  15. MIQ VERSE

    Interesting that the Republican list is all country artists…..

  16. @opdiner

    Republicans have shit taste in music. Who knew?