Bridge Ratings – U.S. Music Consumption: How Many Are Buying & Who's Listening? Lyrics
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday August 29, 2007
U.S. Music Consumption: How Many Are Buying & Who's Listening?
Contrary to Popular Belief...More People are Buying Music
In 1980 20% of the U.S. population were active music buyers. Today that number has reached nearly a third. And with population increases in the intervening 27 years there are nearly 50 million more music buyers today than there were in 1980!
These are among the eye-opening findings in a just-completed six-month Bridge Ratings study of music consumption in America
The study was conducted between March 1 and August 1, 2007 with two panels of music consumers - each with 2000 persons ages 13 and older. The study methodology was a combination of telephone and in-person interviewing
The study examined music sales (albums, 8-tracks, cassettes, CD's and MP3 downloads) since 1980. Historical data was compiled from Billboard Magazine and the RIAA(Recording Industry Association of America)
Music sales totaled 9 billion dollars in 1980, expanded to highs of 16 billion in 1995 and 2000 and have fallen back to 11.5 billion in 2006
32% of Americans purchased music in 2006 - an improvement over 2005's 27% and 1980's 20%
The number one reason given for purchasing music (aside from 'enjoy listening') - to fill MP3 players
#2 reason for music purchases - new music discovery through 1) friends, 2) Internet radio, 3) On-line communities, 4) traditional radio
The number of total 'units' sold in 1980 was approximately 693 million increasing to 1.9 billion in 2006
More people are buying music - that's a fact! The 95 million consumers who purchased music in 2006 is more than double the number in 1980
While revenues from music sales has decreased over time, the percentage change in music buyers has been fairly stable. The red line in the following chart represents revenues from music sales in the U.S
The drop in sales of Compact Discs from 2000 to 2005 (-30%) was too significant to be offset by digital sales. However, the drop in CD sales from 2005 to 2006 (-16%) was partially offset by significant (+66%) growth in digital download sales
Sales of all formats (Albums, 8-tracks, cassettes, Compact Discs and MP3 Downloads) is decreasing while the number of consumers purchasing music increases. How is this possible?
The advent of iTunes and reduced cost-per-download has created a stampede of buyers of MP3 players and music purchase. The average price-per-purchase is being reduced by the large numbers of consumers buying single MP3 downloads
When taken as a whole, the average price per purchase is falling which is generating an overall reduction in music revenues
The introductionn of MP3 players into the mass market has certainly increased consumer interest in music - both old and new. Yet with the majority of consumers still making three or fewer purchases a month, the general music consuming public have not been motivated enough to purchase in larger quantities. Cost apparently isn't the issue
Revenues from all music formats in 2005 were down 24% from the amount sold in 2000, but only down 9% in 2006 while the number of music buyers actually increased by 21% in 2006
82% of music consumers in 1980 made 3 or fewer music purchases a month. Only 9% made more than 9 a month. By 2006, 65% of consumers made 3 or fewer music purchases in a typical month while the number who made more than 9 a month had increased to 32%!
More American consumers are purchasing and enjoying more music today than ever before
Contrary to music purchasing trends discovered in this study, music consumption of traditional radio is trending in the opposite direction
The following chart displays a select group of radio formats and their associated listening trends
These figures relate to average-quarter-hour, a radio industry standard which reflects the percentage of a given group of listeners listening during any given fifteen-minute segment. This chart represents average quarter-hour listening for 12+ listeners Monday through Sunday 6 am to midnight
While a select group of music formats are growing (Adult Hits, Spanish, Urban), most formats are exhibiting decreasing audience
This raises an interesting point. Is it merely a coincidence or is there a direct correlation in the fact that as the number of Americans who purchase music increases, the number of Americans listening to music radio decreases. This theory has had its supporters but never before has there been a study to unearth the facts
A closer look at music radio listening by age:
How to read: In 1998 97% of 12-17 year olds listened to AM or FM radio for at least 5 minutes a week. In 2007, that number had fallen to 89.4%
Unlike the average-quarter-hour chart, this chart represents the percentage of a given age group that listen for at least five minutes a week
In 2007 89% of teens still spend some time listening to music radio. However, only about 54% of their grand parents' group - those aged 65+ - are listening to music radio today. The rest of the 65+ audience is listening to non-music radio - or no radio at all
Overall average-quarter-hour listening is trending down...
How to read: The number of persons ages 12 and over listening to music radio in 2007 is 79.8%
We've been hearing that the number of teens that are listening to traditional radio is trending down...
Adult Contemporary Radio (AC) has experienced a slight improvement in the last two years...
Listening attrition is typical of Teens, but even 18-34 year olds, the core of Modern Rock/Alternative radio stations, are listening to these stations less
Music consumption in America is certainly experiencing a complete overhaul impacted significantly in recent years by technology which has given the consumer more choice and more control than ever before over their music consumption
109 million iPods have been sold since they were first introduced in 2002. Apple's reported 75 share of the MP3 player market (now at 145 million Americans) continues to affect all types of consumers from the very active innovator who must have the latest iPod upon its release to the housewife and retiree
And because of the improved accessibility of music and the way it can be purchased and consumed, more people than ever before are taking advantage of the benefits of new technologies
Meanwhile, listening to music radio in America is trending down. Even those radio formats geared to young adults are finding it difficult to retain these listeners
Teens were long-ago abandoned by traditional radio. The confluence of radio consolidation, Napster (file-sharing), ad agency's disinterest in radio advertising to 12-17 year olds and the lack of highly targeted youth radio formats, has generated a massive tidal wave away from traditional radio toward the technology that gives control and choice of music for a reasonable price
The intent of this study was to determine what trends were facing music consumption in America and to learn, if possible, if there was a connection between trends in music sales and music radio listening
As the number of people who purchase and listen to music has been increasing, the number of people listening to music radio is decreasing
Sample: 4000 persons 13+
Methodology: Random digit dialing telephone interviewing and in-person contacts. One-quarter of sample were contact via cell phone. Geography: National
Edit song description to add:
- Historical context: what album the song's on, how popular it was
- An explanation of the song's overall story (example: "In this song, Eminem corresponds with a crazed fan who ends up...")
- The sample used for the beat — use WhoSampled.com and wikipedia as references