MTV Study Unlocks 7 Secrets Of The Musician & Fan Relationship

image from 1.bp.blogspot.comA new MTV study shows that music fans are expecting a closer and near constant relationship with artists in exchange for their attention. "Music To The M Power" shows how social media has dismantled barriers between artist and fans creating a “zero-distancing” effect.  But that doesn't necessarily mean they'll pay for the music that they say they love. According to the study, buying music is little more than "symbolic patronage" for Millennial fans.

1) Zero-distancing:  Artists are expected to be constantly accessible, especially on social media, offering unique and intimate moments to their fans.

2) Artist As “Friend”: Fans have an expectation for direct interaction between fans and musicians.

  • 75% of Millennials say they feel a stronger connection to musicians who are open about who they are.
  • 53% say the more an artist shares online about themselves, the closer they feel to them.
  • 91% say it’s OK if an artist has some flaws – it makes them human and likeable.

3) The Daily Feed: Fans have different expectations from different channels.

  • Facebook - the formal and official outlet” for tour updates and information.
  • Twitter - a “blow-by-blow feed”.
  • Instagram - "seeing the world through their eyes.”
  • Tumblr  – an intimate glimpse into an artist’s psyche/spirit.

4) Co-creation:  A fan-artist symbiosis – working together on social media as one another’s branding machines.

  • 1 in 4 Millennial has made his or her own parody of songs, artists or music videos.
  • 64% like to be the source for new music for friends and 58% say they are motivated to post and share music when they get feedback.

5) Music is on shuffle: 

  • 85% agree that “among people my age, it’s cooler to listen to a diverse range of music versus one genre.”

6) There’s no such thing as selling out: As savvy marketers of themselves, Millennials understand that the system of getting free music/streaming means artists have to make their money somewhere.

7) Buying music is symbolic patronage for Millennials: 

  • When they buy, it’s because they want to support an artist that they respect and connect with.
  • Only 1 in 4 Millennials had bought music in the past week and only 28% within the past month.

The Methodology –  MTV conducted online surveys with 500 15-29-year-olds in January 2012. 

MoreMTV's Music To The M Power Study

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    1. Glad there’s been some research about this. Constant communication and accessibility are what these music fans expect now. Musicians who can’t do this are at a disadvantage and I suspect for this music community, a musician’s music is secondary to his/her communication skills.

    2. Great post Bruce,
      I like the Artist as a Friend explanation. It appears that fans value transparency and artists who are open. This statistic stood out to me.
      91% say it’s OK if an artist has some flaws – it makes them human and likeable.

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