Monday, November 21, 2011

How We Currently Discover Music

NARM logo image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
Music business association NARM and leading market research company The NPD Group recently released findings of a joint study that examined the ways consumers discover new music. The study was conducted in August 2011. There were a number of surprising elements in this study.
  • More than 80 percent of all respondents were interested in learning about new music from artists they were already fans of, and 60 percent were interested in learning about unfamiliar artists in genres that they usually buy.
  • AM/FM radio and family/friends/coworkers are the most common avenues for discovery, and discovery via online radio and
  • Web videos were also important for the most active music fans.

  • Free online radio, video sites like YouTube and Vevo, and other emerging forms of influence are more likely to cause listeners to continue to stream songs, rather than buy them.
  • Music recommendation from family, friends and co-workers are also very important, as they always have been.
What's more, the report breaks down music consumers into five segments:

Committed: the youngest group, with a mean age of 32 (20 percent are age 13 to 17; 42 percent are 18 to 35).  They represent 10 percent of all consumers who listened to or purchased music within the prior three months. “Committed” consumers also account for 46 percent of per-capita spending on music, and they are the most engaged consumers in the report. While they use a variety of discovery sources – including radio, video, streaming, and movies – they also value ownership, and they are the most open to discovering new artists. They find their current means to discover new music is good, but still wonder if they are missing something.

Convert: makes up 30 percent of musically active consumers and accounts for 34 percent of per-capita spending. They're the second youngest group, with a mean age of 34 (13 percent teens; 23 percent are 18 to 25 years old). They also listen to music in a variety of ways and are more likely than the average consumer to purchase CDs or digital downloads. They are generally satisfied with their means of music discovery, but they would still consider other options.

Comfortable: makes up 30 percent of musically active consumers and account for 15 percent of per-capita spending on music. With a mean age of 50, they are considered the mainstream segment. These individuals mostly listen to music on CD or on AM/FM radio, and they prefer to discover new music from familiar artists. They also rely primarily on television and radio to find new music, and they feel those methods are adequate for their needs; they are not interested in new ways to discover music.

Casual: makes up 14 percent of musically active listeners and account for 3 percent of per-capita music spending, and have a mean age of 43. They are also lighter listeners than average, they rarely buy music, and they have low interest in digital sources and discovery.

Content: makes up 11 percent of musically active consumers and accounts for 2 percent of per-capita music spending, have a mean age of 55. They are the lightest buyers and listeners, and while they periodically buy CDs, they do not find current music engaging.
Another interesting thing that the study found is that television has emerged as the second-most influential tool for music discovery, with 49 percent of musically active consumers citing it as a top influence. Television is particularly effective for targeting the mainstream “Comfortable” group, as well as women and brick-and-mortar store shoppers. Awards shows, music videos, competition shows, daytime TV, and serial shows are the programs most likely to be effective for music discovery.

But guess what? Television was trumped by AM/FM radio, which continues to remain as the most important tool for music discovery, with 60 percent of musically active consumers citing it as a top influence.

While radio and TV were the clear-cut top traditional choices for music discovery, Internet music-discovery options are much more fragmented. Shazam and other song-ID apps, as well as other mobile/tablet apps, are most likely to lead to high-value actions, like paying for a CD or digital download.

What's the upshot? Some things never change, and that includes the way we discover music. What is changing is that now we have more sources and which groups uses those additional sources. Once again, conventional wisdom is set on its ear.
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1 comment:

Moook said...

Excellent article, this is the exact way the music market currently is.

Here are a few links from the same website I think you will like, the music is very good, and the sharing is clearly 3.0 ; )

Rare Music

Jazzy Beats

Abstract Hip Hop

Relaxing Music

Chillout Music


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