July 15, 2012

Radio is still the dominant way people discover music (48%) – followed by tips from friends/relatives (10%), and YouTube (7%), but more teens listen to music through YouTube than through any other source (64%) -- followed by radio (56%) and iTunes (53% ) and CDs (50%) - according to results from a comprehensive, in-depth Nielsen study of consumer interaction with music in the United States, the Music 360. The new Nielsen report offers insights on all aspects of music consumption including listening and purchasing behaviors; music discovery; live events; the use of social networking and mobile music apps; as well as how the economy is affecting music sales.

“The accessibility of music has seen tremendous expansion and diversification,” said David Bakula, SVP Client Development, Nielsen. “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.”

The following is a small sampling of insights included in the Music 360 report:

Radio is still the dominant 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

More teens listen to music through YouTube than through any other source

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 a friend are most likely to influence purchase decisions

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.

Music player apps are most prevalent, followed by radio and music store apps

54% have music player apps on their smartphones

47% have radio apps on their smartphones

26% have music store apps on their smartphones

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 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 purchase new music immediately after its release

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

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

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

54% (compared to 46% of 18-24 year olds) of teen attendees purchase concert tees

14% (compared to 7% of 18-24 year olds) of teen attendees purchase concert posters

Listeners enjoy hearing movie soundtracks over music related TV shows or video games

42% enjoy hearing music via music related TV show

59% enjoy hearing music via movie soundtracks

28% enjoy hearing music via music related video games

Older consumers have decreased their spending the most during the current economy

41% of respondents 55+ reduced their spending to a large degree

39% of respondents 45-54 reduced their spending to a large degree

Only 28% of respondents age 25-34 reduced their spending to a large degree

Data for Music 360 were collected via 3,000 online consumer surveys using Nielsen’s proprietary, high-quality ePanel in the United States.

For more information at http://www.nielsen.com

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