The old ways of listening to and purchasing music continue to erode, but radio remains the primary means of discovering music, according to a new Nielsen report issued Tuesday.
David Bakula, senior vp of client development at Nielsen, said in a statement, “While younger listeners opt for technologically advanced methods, traditional methods of discovery like radio and word-of-mouth continue to be strong drivers.”
According to the “Music 360” report, 64% of teens — traditionally the most active consumers of music — listen to music through Google’s online video service YouTube. However, 56% of teens still listen to the radio, while just 50% consume music via CDs.
Digital music is now viewed as a better value than a CD: 63% of purchasers called digital albums a very good or fairly good value, while 55% called CDs a very good or fairly good value.
Just 36% of teens bought a CD in the last year, while 51% purchased some kind of music download.
The depressed economy has had an impact on buying patterns. Older consumers — the CD generation — reported they had cut back on spending, with 41% of those 55-years-old and over and 39% of those aged 45-54 reducing their purchasing. But just 28% of respondents aged 25-34 reported a spending reduction.
Some old-school methods of learning about music still have some traction.
Overall, 48% of listeners discover music through the radio, while 10% discover through friends or relatives. Just 7% employ YouTube as a discovery tool.
Word of mouth still has pull: 54% of consumer are more likely to make a purchase off a positive recommendation from a friend, while just 25% are influenced by a music blog or chat room and 12% are swayed by endorsements from a brand.
The report said that 42% enjoy hearing music via a music-related TV show, while 59% prefer soundtracks.
The 18- to 24-year-old demo is the top consumer of live music, with 7% attending one or more music event per week and 30% attending once a month. But teens are tops in merch purchases, with 54% of teen concert attendees buying t-shirts and 14$ buying posters.
Music 360 data was collected from 3,000 online consumer surveys.