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Indian music widely popular in Pakistan but listenership is increasingly shared with Pakistani music


Although Indian songs continue to enjoy high popularity in Pakistan, their exclusive hold on listenership has declined over the past 25 years. These findings have emerged from a recent survey by Gallup Pakistan on Media Habits. The survey revealed that almost one-third (37%) of the Pakistani population prefers to buy cassettes of Indian songs over any other, while less than one-fourth (19%) prefer only Pakistani songs. However, 38% like to listen to both Pakistani and Indian music.

The same survey was conducted by Gallup Pakistan a number of times since 1980, revealing that exclusive preference for Indian music was as high as 54% in 1980, which declined to 50% in 2000 before dropping significantly to 37% in 2006, at present.

Exclusive listenership of Pakistani music nearly doubled from 27% to 42% during the years 1980- 2000. However, it dropped significantly to 19% in 2006, showing an increasing trend for listenership of both Pakistani and Indian music. When asked, analysts at Gallup Pakistan explained this pattern by saying that greater access to Indian music through cable/satellite TV has blurred the distinction between Indian and Pakistani music. Hence creating the trend of listening to both, rather than exclusively preferring either Pakistani or Indian songs.

The survey was conducted by Gallup Pakistan, affiliated with Gallup International, and was based on a sample of over 1200 respondents in the urban areas of all four provinces across Pakistan. This sample was statistically selected to cover all age groups, income and educational levels. The error margin in this kind of survey is estimated to be +5% at a 95% confidence level.