Radio remains by far the main way US consumers discover music, despite the likes of YouTube and other rival options, according to research by Nielsen.
Its Nielsen Music 360 Report of 3,000 online consumer surveys found 48% of those questioned discover music most often through radio stations, compared to 10% from friends and relatives and 7% from YouTube. However, when it comes to listening to music YouTube rules among teenagers with 64% saying they use it to hear music compared to 56% listening to music on the radio, 53% through iTunes and 50% to music on CD.
"The accessibility of music has seen tremendous expansion and diversification," said Nielsen SVP client development David Bakul. "While younger listeners opt for technologically advanced methods, traditional methods of disocvery like radio and word-of-mouth continue to be strong drivers. With so many ways to purchase, consume and discover great new music it's no wonder that the consumer continues to access and enjoy music in greater numbers."
The study also discovered that positive recommendations from a friend have the biggest influence on what biggest to buy. Some 54% of those questioned said they are more likely to buy music if a friend recommended it, compared to 25% going by what is said in chat rooms or by music blogs and 12% by what a brand endorses. Meanwhile, music is shared on social networking sites by 8% of those questioned and 6% upload music.
More than half (54%) have music player apps on their smarphones, 47% radio apps and 26% music store appw, while rock is the preferred music to buy for men compared to Top 40 for women.
Digital music emerged in the eyes of those surveyed as better value for money than a CD with 63% of prurchasers describing digital albums as very or fairly good value, while 61% said the same about digital tracks. Some 55% put CDs in the same category.
Younger consumers are more likely to buy a music release immediately after it comes out with 33% of teens saying they purchase a track within a week of its release. This drops to 21% for those aged 18 or over.
Within the teen market, there still remains some kind of market for CDs, according to ths survey. It found 36% of teens bought a CD in the last year, while 51% of them bought some kind of music download. The 18 to 24 group was most likely to attend a music event with 7% doing so at least once a week and 30% once a month.
More than two-fiths (41%) of respondents aged 55 plus had reduced what they spent on music during the current tough economy to a large degree, while 39% of those aged 45-54 had done the same and 28% of those between 25 and 34.