Follow Sony UK

Musical map of the UK reveals the listening habits of the nation

Press release   •   Oct 28, 2020 07:00 GMT

In a nationwide poll, almost half admit listening to the same song on repeat, with no surprise that Pop tops the list as the most (pop)ular genre

  • Pop (57% enjoy listening to it) topped the list of the most popular music genre across the UK, with Rock coming in second (40%) and Easy Listening (26%) in third
  • Londoners top the regions that listen to Jazz music (15% say it’s a preferred genre), Liverpudlians stay true to home-grown talent with their favourite track being John Lennon’s Imagine, while those in the North East opted for ‘Dance’ music over ‘Indie’ – moving away from their regional, home-grown sounds
  • Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody triumphed as the nation’s favourite song of all time – the song, released in 1975, is older than Sony’s WALKMAN range which originally launched in 1979. The research celebrates the NW-A105 Walkman, compatible with high resolution audio for crystal-clear sound.

A nationwide poll by Sony Walkman has revealed the vastly different tastes in music across the UK.

Londoners proved to be the biggest fans of classical music, with over a quarter (28%) highlighting their passion for the stimulating musical genre, in comparison to less than one fifth (16%) of those in East Anglia.

The impact the current times have had on our listening habits

With live music on hold, it is apparent music still plays a big role in our day-to-day lives. On average, we listen to 31 days of music across the year (equating to 2 hours and 4 minutes per day), but only 4% of us are listening to opera, showing that one of live music’s most popular genres is failing to find its place in the nation’s audio tastes post-lockdown.

The research has shown that Brits aren’t as city proud as you might think

Despite Manchester being normally known as big Rock and Indie fans, the research revealed that those based Edinburgh are passionate about Rock

(51%) and Indie (35%) music to a greater extent than any other region.

Aberdeen is the Pop capital of the nation, with over 83% stating a preference for it. Aberystwyth (43%) and Belfast (45%), however, proved the most immune to the Pop genre’s charms.

The North East is less in tune with Indie music (16%), instead preferring Dance (29%) despite its history of producing chart-topping bands such as Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs.

Liverpudlians stayed true to their roots, with almost 50% declaring their love for home-grown talent, with Imagine by John Lennon topping Scousers’ list of favourite songs to listen to.

Over a quarter of those surveyed from East Anglia (29%), the West Midlands (28%) and Londoners (27%) showed their love for R&B, proclaiming it to be their favourite genre.

London also came out top as the Jazz capital of the UK (15%), with residents of the capital more likely to listen to the genre more than any other area. With musical influences such as Ronnie Scott’s and The 606, it’s perhaps no surprise.

What our age says about our music tastes

Interestingly, our age says a lot about our musical tastes. Metal (7%) came out as the least favourite genre amongst 18-24-year-olds, but Rap and Hip Hop (39%) had overwhelming appeal among the same demographic.

Figures show that the Blues (18%) are most popular amongst those in the 55+ age group, with far fewer millennials aged 25-34 tuning into the genre (6%).

Film locations inspired by music

The South West (19%) came out top for favouring TV and film soundtracks, with their love for movies potentially sparking from some iconic films and TV shows that were shot just around the corner. For example, About Time with scenes filmed in St Austell Bay, Cornwall, World War Z with elements shot in Falmouth Docks, Cornwall, and The Edge of Tomorrow with visuals filmed on the north coast of Devon.

‘Brits favourite Hits’ – The Nation’s Top 25 Songs Of All Time Are:

1.Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (43%)

2.Don't Stop Me Now – Queen (37%)

3.Hey Jude - The Beatles (31%)

4.Imagine - John Lennon (30%)

5.Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi (28%)

6.The Sound Of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel (27%)

7.What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong (25%)

8.Mr Blue Sky – ELO (25%)

9.(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding (24%)

10. Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys (24%)

11. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston (24%)

12. Heard it Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye (23%)

13. River Deep, Mountain High - Tina Turner (23%)

14. Back to Black - Amy Winehouse (22%)

15. No Woman, No Cry - Bob Marley (22%)

16. Everything I Do (I Do It For You) - Bryan Adams (22%)

17. Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks (22%)

18. Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash (22%)

19. Mr Brightside - The Killers (21%)

20. Careless Whisper - George Michael (21%)

21. Adele - Rolling in the Deep (21%)

22. Beat It - Michael Jackson (20%)

23. Let's Dance - David Bowie (20%)

24. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys (19%)

25. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin (19%)

Music listening trends

We are creatures of habit, according to the data, which revealed that almost half (47%) of us listen to the same song on repeat, again and again.

As a nation passionate about music, Sony’s latest A105 Walkman, featuring full high resolution audio compatibility, provides the ultimate listening experience, allowing you to hear those favourite songs in a completely different way.

Through an Android™ platform, the NW-A105 Walkman® offers you access to millions of songs at your fingertips. Use Wi-Fi to stream and download music with your favourite Android™ music apps.

– Ends –

Notes to editors

For more information or images, please contact Hope&Glory:

About the NW-A105

  • Truly authentic sound with High-Resolution Audio (beyond CD quality sound)
  • Use Wi-Fi to stream and download music with your favourite Android™ apps
  • 16GB internal memory
  • Up to 26 hours of battery life
  • Premium compact design available in five bold colourways
  • RRP £320

Research Findings

Music genres

  • Pop (57%), Rock (40%) and Easy Listening (26%) the most popular genres of music across the nation

Listening habits

  • Almost 50% of Brits have confessed to listening to the same song on repeat
  • On average the nation listens to music 31 days per year

Favourite songs

  • Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen tops the most loved song by the nation

Regional breakdowns and musical interests

  • 28% of London opt for classical, while only 16% listen to it in East Anglia
  • 22% of Northern Ireland listen to Country/Western, opposed to only 11% in East Anglia
  • East Anglia (29%) and the West Midlands (28%) are listening to more R&B than Londoners (27%)
  • West Midlands (24%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (24%) top the list as the regions most inclined to listen to Indie music
  • The North East are now favouring dance music (29%) over indie (16%) moving away from home-grown bands such as the Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs
  • London is the Jazz capital (15%), with Wales not as interested (5%)
  • Over 50% of Welsh people love Rock music
  • The South West (19%) come out top for favouring TV/film soundtracks, with their love for movies potentially sparking from some iconic films / shows that were shot just around the corner
  • Scotland favour Folk music over any other region (19%)
  • North East (over 50%) and North West (35%) love Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
  • Unsurprisingly the North West (38%) favour Hey Jude, The Beatles over (20%) Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys
  • Londoners prefer The Sound of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel (29%) over Let’s Dance, David Bowie (20%)
  • Londoner’s choose The Sound of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel (29%) over Happy, Pharrell Williams (20%)
  • Aberdeen (83%) prefer Pop more than any other city in the UK
  • 30% of Brighton and Hove prefer Country/Western over any other genre of music
  • Norwich (33%) prefers R&B, opposed to London (29%)
  • Despite Manchester being normally known as big Rock and Indie fans, the research revealed that those based Edinburgh are passionate about Rock
  • (51%) and Indie (35%) music to a greater extent than any other region
  • Brighton and Hove (29%) come out top for listening to the most film/TV soundtracks
  • Over 50% of Swansea and Wrexham listen to Rock music
  • Almost 50% of Liverpudlians said they love Imagine, John Lennon, coming out the highest percentage of the nation to favour the song
  • 32% of Chelmsford said they love Careless Whisper, George Michael, more than any other city

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. From game and network services to music, pictures, electronics, image sensors and financial services - Sony's purpose is to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology. For more information, visit: