I consider myself an avid music listener. One who stays ahead of the curve in discovering new songs, bands, and genres. Still, trying to stay relevant in music discovery seems to be a challenge. Sometimes it almost feels like there are “too many” ways to listen. With that said, the most popular means of discovery still seems to come from the oldest form of mass music media.
This study from NARM and NPD breaks down the purchasing of music by consumer group (“Committed,” “Convert,” “Comfortable,” “Casual,” and “Content.”). You might be surprised to see that radio pops up as the most common medium.
The part of the study that I found most interesting was not just how we hear new music for the first time, but how little most of us do to hear the songs we like a second and third time. It is suggested that a large majority will just wait to hear the song again on the radio, instead of going out to find it. We are a society that loves to experience entertainment in various ways. But we’re also a society that would love to do it without breaking our normal habits. Some might perceive that as lazy, but it’s actually just the opposite. We often consider ourselves too busy to fit any additional activities into our lives, which is why radio remains such a strong player in discovering music… It’s where we already are!
Let’s not downplay the importance of other mediums. The most intelligent people in the business will tell you that while we compete amongst ourselves, different forms of media are amazing extensions of each other. Radio, TV, and digital music players all work together. This is why the most relevant radio and TV stations push their sites and music apps.
Buying music has become very fragmented. It will continue to evolve everyday in our digital world. Albeit, when it comes to music being brought TO YOU, one truth remains consistent. Radio is very much alive and well!