What Genre of Music Was the Most Popular in Canada in 2015?

Based on a statistical analysis of albums released in Canada last year, we are a nation of singer-songwriters. Maybe it’s because it’s so tough to tour Canada it’s easier to carry just a guitar than a full band. Maybe the heritage of Ian Tyson, Gordon Lightfoot and Stompin’ Tom. Or maybe it’s because we just like our music simple and authentic.

Then again, we are also very much an alternative nation.  In fact, it’s pretty much a statistical tie between album sales by singer-songwriters and alternative acts. If we were to add punk into the alternative mix (it’s interesting that punk is broken out into its own genre), alt-rock would be the clear winner.

A blog called Canadian Music Blog published this chart showing album releases by genre.

Canadian albums-by-genre 2015

It’s kind of hard to distinguish the colours in this chart (a lot of it depends on what kind of screen you’re viewing it), but here’s what I see:

  • Singer-songwriter/folk: 21.6%
  • Alternative: 21.0%
  • Rock: 13.8%
  • Pop: 8.0%
  • Country: 6.4%
  • Rap: 4.1%
  • Adult contemporary: 3.8%
  • Blues: 2.8%
  • World: 1.8%
  • Other: 4.2%

Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. Like I said, it all depends on how well your screen reproduces the subtle colours in the chart.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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