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Study: Listening To The Radio Is Still The Top Way To Discover Music

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Songstuff

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Study: Listening To The Radio Is Still The Top Way To Discover Music

It is perhaps a shock to some, but still more people discover music listening to the radio than by any other way. At the same time more teens listen to music using YouTube than any other way. Somewhat more of a surprise is that only 10% discover music via friends and family, but at the same time they cite that positive recommendation from a friend is the largest single influence when they decide to purchase. These and more are the results of a comprehensive analysis by Nielsen published in their "Music 360" report.

“The accessibility of music has seen tremendous expansion and diversification,” said Nielsen SVP for Client Development, David Bakula . He goes on to say, “While younger listeners opt for technologically advanced methods , traditional methods of discovery like radio and word-of-mouth continue to be strong drivers. With so many ways to purchase, consume and discover great new music, it’s no wonder that the consumer continues to access and enjoy music in greater numbers.”

Understanding such buying and listening habits is as useful for indie artists as it is for large record labels. Such information can be critical when deciding on how best to reach new fans.

According to the "Music 360" report from Nielsen, RADIO is the main way Americans discover new music. The new report covers all aspects of music consumption including behaviors when listening and purchasing; music discovery; live events; social networking and mobile music apps; and how the economy is affecting music sales.

Here is an overview of some of the insights from the "Music 360" report:

Listening and Discovery

Radio dominates the way people discover music:

  • 48% discover music most often through the radio
  • 10% discover music most often through friends/relatives
  • 7% discover music most often through YouTube

YouTube is the most popular source when listening to music

  • 64% of teens listen to music through YouTube
  • 56% of teens listen to music on the radio
  • 53% of teens listen to music through iTunes
  • 50% of teens listen to music on CD

Positive recommendations from friends are still the factor most likely to influence a decision to purchase.

  • 54% are more likely to make a purchase based off a positive recommendation from a friend
  • 25% are more likely to make a purchase based off a music blog/chat rooms
  • 12% are more likely to make a purchase based off an endorsement from a brand
  • 8% of all respondents share music on social networking sites, while 6% upload music.

Gender differences: Males purchase rock music most often, while females prefer top 40

  • 38% of males purchase rock most often
  • 15% of females (compared to 9% of males) purchase top 40 most often

Digital and Physical

Digital music is seen as a slightly better value than a physical CD

  • 63% of purchasers identified digital albums as a very or fairly good value
  • 61% identified digital tracks as a very or fairly good value
  • 55% identified physical CDs as a very or fairly good value

Younger consumers who do buy digital tracks, are more likely to buy new music just after it is released

  • 33% of teens purchased a digital track within one week of release
  • 21% of persons 18+ purchased a digital track within one week of release

36% of teens have bought a CD in the last year

51% of teens have purchased some kind of music download

Events and Merchandise

18-24 year olds are most likely to attend a music event (among those who attend any type of live event)

  • 7% attending once a week or more
  • 30% attending once a month

18-24 year olds attend more live events, BUT teens are more likely to purchase T-shirts and posters while there.

  • 54% of teen attendees buy concert tees
  • 46% of 18-24 year old attendees buy concert tees

and

  • 14% of teen attendees buy concert posters
  • 7% of 18-24 year old attendees buy concert posters

It makes for some interesting reading, and for eggs-one-basket indie musicians it won't all be particularly welcome news. The conclusions that can be drawn just from this overview information could significantly affect where inidie bands spend their effort.

Nielsen is a global measurement and information company providing precise marketing and consumer information across diverse markets including television, on-line and mobile commerce. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Read the press release


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