Friday, July 17, 2020

As Consumers Age, New Music Becomes Less Important

Edison Research has release the findings from never-before-seen research which debuted in a webinar, New Music Seekers: An Infinite Dial Report, presented by Edison Research VP Nicole Beniamini.

The new research explores how this 24% of America — the “new-music seekers” for whom learning about and staying up–to–date with music is very important — listens to, discovers, and shares music.

As listeners age, fewer say it is “very important” to learn about and stay up–to–date with music:
35% of those age 12-34 say it is “very important,” 25% of those age 35-54 say it is “very important,” and 10% of those age 55+ say it is “very important.” Nearly half of new-music seekers, 46%, are between the ages of 12-34, and 54% are 35+, so although interest in new music is more concentrated in very young demos, there are still large numbers of new-music seekers over the age of 35.

New-music seekers are willing to pay for music services.  Forty-nine percent of new-music seekers have listened to Spotify in the last month, and of those, 45% have a paid subscription. More than one-third of new-music seekers say they have a subscription to SiriusXM, which is nearly double the percentage of the general population 12+. Many of these new-music subscribers are maintaining paid subscriptions to both SiriusXM AND a streaming music platform.

Sources for new music discovery vary greatly depending on the age of the listener.
Overall, YouTube (68%) tops the list of sources that new-music seekers age 12+ say they use for music discovery, followed by friends and family (47%), and AM/FM radio (46%).

The top three sources for music discovery are as follows for three different age groups:
  • Listeners age 12-34: YouTube (72%), Spotify (51%) and friends and family (49%)
  • Listeners age 35-54: YouTube (64%), AM/FM radio (53%), and Facebook (45%)
  • Listeners age 55+: AM/FM radio (70%), YouTube (57%), friends and family (53%) 
“It’s surprising to see how high YouTube ranks for music discovery among all ages. This new research gives us a better grasp of just how important online platforms are for music discovery, especially among those who value new music. And while AM/FM radio is not so much a place to ‘learn about new music,’ our data shows that it’s still a place to ‘learn what the hits are,” said Beniamini.

Among the one-third of Americans age 12+ (33%), for whom learning about and staying up-to-date with music is “not at all important,” AM/FM radio tops the list as the source used most often for music discovery at 35%, followed by YouTube at 17%, and friends and family at 17%.

Music listening is a private experience for many new-music seekers. Sixty-seven percent of new-music seekers say they do most or all of their audio listening through headphones/earbuds, with 30% saying all of their audio listening is private. This is not limited to the youngest listeners, as even the majority of new-music seekers age 35-54 listen to most of their music through headphones/earbuds. Social media becomes important, then, as a way to share music, because 53% of new-music seekers say they currently use social media to share updates on music they are listening to with friends and family.

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