Heavy metal fans named ‘most loyal’ in music by Spotify

Study tracked how often fans return to genre’s ‘core artists’

Heavy metal fans are the most loyal in music, a new study by Spotify has suggested.

The study set out to measure fan loyalty by identifying “core artists” in several genres and calculating how often the average fan returned to them.

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Beating competition from pop, folk, country and rock, heavy metal topped the ‘loyalty’ study by a significant margin, based on data from core bands including Metallica, Slayer, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Sepultura, Pantera, Cradle Of Filth and Anthrax.

As Spotify’s report highlights, an alternative reading of the data suggests the genres that scored lower – such as blues, classical, EDM and jazz – attract healthier support for their fringe artists.

Speaking to Mashable about the study, Bob Lugowe, director of promotions and new media at metal label Relapse Records, said: “Whether it’s wearing a ‘battle jacket’ full of sewn-on patches of their favorite bands, buying every vinyl colour and edition of their favourite album, tattooing their favourite band mascot on their arm or traveling exceptionally long distances to concerts and festivals, metalheads are extremely diehard and dedicated to their favourite bands and the genre as a whole.”

Meanwhile, a heavy metal fan in Sweden was recently awarded disability benefits after he was declared ‘addicted’ to heavy metal.

Roger Tullgren, 42, had consulted a number of doctors who testified that his obsession had indeed become an addiction, meaning he was unable to hold down a full-time job, reports Swedish news site Local, via Global Post.

“I have been trying for 10 years to get this classified as a handicap,” said Tullgren, who sports tattoos and long black hair, according to the article, and attended almost 300 gigs last year. “I spoke to three psychologists and they finally agreed that I needed this to avoid being discriminated against.” He currently has a part-time job as a dishwasher at a restaurant in Hassleholm, but this will be supplemented by disability benefits.


His new boss reportedly will let Tullgren wear what he wants to work and give him time off for gigs, as well as letting him play music as he works. “I signed a form saying: ‘Roger feels compelled to show his heavy metal style. This puts him in a difficult situation on the labour market. Therefore he needs extra financial help’. So now I can turn up at a job interview dressed in my normal clothes and just hand the interviewers this piece of paper,” commented Tullgren.

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