What Are Consumers Saying about Free Streaming, CDs, Ownership

Media Insight Consulting (MIC) is proud to release the first set of insights and statistics from its recently conducted UK Consumer Survey, “What Music Means to Me”.

MIC talked to 2,650 consumers from a nationally representative group of the UK population. During the survey, respondents talked in detail about everything from their passionate love of free streaming to how they discover and purchase music.  The highly detailed responses are demographically separated giving readers of the report a direct insight into the attitudes of different consumer sectors.

The insights released today skim the surface of the full set of robust data driven findings available in the full MIC report.  They add a much needed consumer perspective to the debates currently being conducted across the media and in conference sessions in relation to the future of music price points. These insights are focused specifically on the recorded music section of the report. As they become available, MIC will release further insights on the Live Music Sector and Merchandise. These will be released ahead of conference presentations at SXSW, Canadian Music Week, and The Great Escape by CEO Chris Carey.

Media Insight Consulting CEO, Chris Carey commented, “Big Data dominates the conversation in the music industry, but consumer research is often overlooked.  Big Data is great at the ‘what’ but not always great at ‘why’.  Consumer research gives the opportunity to explore the consumer attitudes that underpin their behaviour.  It also allows a more complete view of the consumer, touching on many areas of their music activities, not just soiled, service led data.  Don’t get me wrong, Big Data has value, but coupled with consumer research it can be much more powerful.”

Findings:  Over half the UK population place high value on music

Across the music business there is a renewed focus on the value of music. From Lucian Grange’s recent interviews to the rumours around the price point of Apple’s streaming music service all the recent focus has been on what monetary value music executives think consumers will or should place on music. Now MIC can tell you what the consumer actually thinks.

Early in our survey we wanted to gauge how passionate consumers are about music, particularly those younger consumers for whom gaming and device ownership amongst many other things competes for their hard earned cash.

Based on our survey we found that, 30% of people feel that ‘music is my life, my number 1 passion’. 16 – 24’s were the most passionate with 44% agreeing. There was little difference between genders but males are very more emphatic, with 13% strongly agreeing compared to females (7%).

Encouragingly only 7% of the UK population declared themselves to ‘have no interest in music whatsoever’.

From the new MIC data report, 'Over half the UK population place high value on music.' Click To Tweet

Strong potential for music streaming services

During the recorded music section of the survey we asked about consumers purchasing habits. 16-24’s indicated that they love using free streaming services with 43% of them having used one in the last 12 months. The use of free streaming outstripped their album download purchases and even their concert attendance. 25-34 are most inclined to pay for access to a streaming services, with around 18% of that group interested. 16-24’s index the second highest in this group but interestingly 35-44’s are very close behind the youngest group in paying for streaming.

Physical still matters to many

And for all the talk across the music business about streaming it would be easy to think that the world is entirely digital. 60% of UK consumers still say they are interested in purchasing physical product. So we decided it would be interesting to dive into this and find out who is buying a format that is supposed to be on the way out.

Demographically 45-54’s (64%) are the largest buying group. 35-44’s and the over 55’s are almost neck and neck at around 60%. 25-34’s are less enthusiastic about physical at 54% and perhaps unsurprisingly our 16-24’s only come in at 46%.  We guess that many of the devices this final group are using just don’t have a slot that accommodates a little silver disc and thus it should make streaming a compelling proposition for them. However, tech adoption in the younger groups shouldn’t mean we neglect opportunities to sell in the old way!

When it comes to ownership

Almost half (48%) of 16-24’s don’t see the point in owning copies of music when they can access it online. 25-34’s also over index with 36% accessing music for free online. To put this in perspective only 25% of the UK population surveyed said they don’t see the point of ownership vs. free access.

Of the group that said they don’t need to own music because they pay to stream, 16-24’s and 25-34’s pay to stream the most, with 35% and 31% respectively. By way of contrast, only 11% of 45-54’s and 6% of 55+ pay to access streaming services for their music.

From the new MIC Consumer Data report, 'Almost half (48%) of 16-24’s don’t see the point in owning copies of music.' Click To Tweet

Targeted marketing and more

The full report also sheds light on listening behaviours, how fans like to be kept informed about new releases and how to target marketing effectively online – all cut by age, gender and musical genre too.

This information just skims the surface of a highly detailed survey; some of which will confirm your thinking, some of which will genuinely surprise you. All the information has been collected via a nationally representative sample at a scale that allows us to derive statistically robust results. And will allow you to make comparisons and compete more effectively as you make decisions in your music business.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.