40 percent of Australians describe music as their “life and number one passion”, according to the Australian Music Consumer Report, produced by UK’s Media Insight Consulting for Eventbrite, and presented at BigSound on 7 September 2016. The report, which was conducted between 18 and 25 July 2016, involved more than 2,000 participants, who answered questions about live music, music consumption and music discovery.
The most passionate sector is males aged between 16 and 24, of whom 60 percent describe themselves as passionate about music. This group is also the one most likely to go to live gigs and to spend money on music. 46 percent attend a show at least once a month and close to one-third buy songs or albums of artists they admire.
In contrast, only 18 percent of women aged 16 to 24 attend a show once a month and are the least likely group to spend money on recorded music, followed by men aged between 25 and 34. Overall, half of all Australians say they like music but don’t spend any money on it.
These Music passionates as the report describes them, are dominated by the 18 – 34 millennials age group. These avid consumers of digital media are most likely to access music via YouTube or a free streaming service rather than traditional broadcast media.
Millennials are more likely to value an experience than a material item, and 71 percent want to increase their purchase of experiences. “This generation wants to be remembered for what they DID, not what they owned” the report found.
Young people are more likely to convert their passion into attending live gigs than purchasing music.
This clearly represents a music industry challenge – and opportunity. A challenge in that most places these people head to listen to music are free. Top of this list is YouTube where 35 percent of Australians listen to music. The opportunity is to convert this interest into continued engagement to a point where fans spend money on this music.
According to the report, this lack of spending is due to “a problem with the perceived value of music”. Where music services “like Spotify and Apple music supply almost all the music in the world for on-demand usage, ad free, for around $150 per annum”, “Foxtel customers pay hundreds of dollars per annum for an incomplete offering (they do not have all the content that is available on the market, or the newest content) … that includes regular advertising.”
The report recommends that “the music industry as a whole needs to get better at converting passion for music into financial transactions”, by prioritising the education and conversion of consumers who are currently consuming for free. Artists should focus on creating a “clear customer journey between online platforms and live experiences”. Suggested strategies for artists include identifying super fans, communicating with fans directly through social media and mailing lists, diversifying income streams and developing brand partnerships.
75 percent of millennials (people aged 18-34) and 86 percent of Gen Z (people aged 10-20) use new media to consume recorded music, in contrast with 51 percent of 35-44 year olds, 30 percent of 45-54 year olds, 20 percent of 55-64 year olds and 13 percent of people aged 65+.
Finally, the report shows that the discovery of live music events is heavily influenced by peers. 30 percent of participants find gigs because of friends’ social media posts, in contrast with 22 percent finding them through social media ads and 17 percent who discovering them through outdoor ads. It is recommended that artists increase their fan base by engaging and rewarded current fans and peer influencers.
The report also reveals a surprising disparity in live music attendance by gender with far fewer young women going to music gigs which we explore here.
The report can be read in full here.
You can watch the mini keynote here by Phil Silverstone and Chris Carey at Big Sound.