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Here's What 13 To 40 Year Olds Claim About Their Experience Of Music

Elvis-is-everywhereThis week the Viacom Music Group released research finding regarding the "Music Experience" of today's 13 to 40 year olds. It's an interesting study with plenty that will be taken out of context leading to confusion (which isn't a bad thing if the confused people are your competitors) and some really interesting points that may not be pursued. Even so, the report paints an intriquing picture of what today's young yet soon to be old people have to say about their experience of music.

Viacom shared their research findings in a blog post this week. The findings are based on:

"a quantitative survey with more than 1,200 participants 13-40 years old; 'blographies' with 34 participants; secondary research; as well as check-ins with proprietary panels and Facebook groups."

I don't have further info on the methodology but the "biographies" would probably be a deep individual dive using qualitative methods, such as an open-ended phone interview, to give additional dimension to the numbers and how they fit into the larger context of a listener's life.

People Go To Concerts For Lots Of Mixed Together Reasons

One aspect of the report that will likely stir up some response is a series of statements about why people go to concerts:

  • 79% go to live music events to showcase their fandom for an artist/music genre.
  • 88% go to concerts because they can tell their friends they went.
  • 74% go to see live music to financially support artists they like.
  • 76% go to concerts even if they don’t know the artist because it’s a chance to hang out with friends.

Note that if you take one of those points and share it individually, it suddenly seems quite dramatic and maybe even a little nuts.

But if you took all the reasons that a person might recognize for going to a concert, for some people it will be all those things above and more, and asked them if they were one of the reasons they went, people will then agree to reasons that wouldn't really be motivating on their own.

40% of 13 to 21 Year Olds Do NOT Follow Musicians On Social Media

Here's where it gets really interesting:

"Social media is hailed for the direct access it provides between fan and artist, with the majority of music fans (60% for 13-21 year olds; 51% for 31-40 year olds) reporting that they follow artists on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other social networks."

I'm curious about the missing 22-30 year olds but I'm more surprised at how many people aren't following musicians on social media at all. Based on that statement we can then say:

40% of 13 to 21 year olds do NOT follow musicians on social media.

Now THAT"S really interesting. And that would be a lot more useful to dig into than whether they focus on Instagram or Tumblr. Though of course where they go is very important as well.

Just Like Elvis, Music Is Everywhere

The other aspect of the report that's sticking out to me is the sense that the respondents sound like they're practically bathing in music. It's all around them and they connect at a wide range of touch points.

For example:

"The 'path to purchase' is hardly linear. Because there isn’t really one brand/platform/device that serves a single purpose, each can come into play at any stage in a fan’s relationship to music."

"Fans connect with artists through a variety of means and platforms, including TV, social media and concerts."

"Videos, TV and social media rank highest in forging that fan-artist connection. But with so many ways to connect to artists, it’s more important than ever to use a variety of media touch points to facilitate a stronger connection between artist and fan."

And yet, with all this access to all this music, we still run into the same wall that "discovery" is attempting to break through:

"music listeners are wanting for ways to filter through it all: 70% say, 'There’s so much music online it’s hard to stay on top of it all,' while 66% 'wish there was someone or something that could point them in the right direction when looking for new music.'"

Which makes me wonder what they think when a site promotes the opportunity to "discover" new music. It sounds like people are discovering music every day in all sorts of ways.

So when they hear about other chances to discover music from companies that are also trying to do such things as curate, filter and recommend music suited to that listener, they may not be getting the rest of the message cause you lost them at "discovery."

Like I said, there's a lot here to consider. But I wonder if anybody will pursue the interesting parts.

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) also blogs at DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.