A recent YouGov Reports publication has found that radio remains the most popular medium of discovering new music, even though digital music is booming.
The “Music Consumption 2014” report explores how music listeners consume and discover new music they haven’t heard before and is shown against results from an earlier report (August 2012) for comparative purposes. More than six in ten (65%) music listeners who consciously strive to discover new music they haven’t heard before are more likely to discover new content via radio. Although this is down from 74% in 2012, radio is still the most popular medium.
BBC Radios 1 (19%) and 2 (16%) remain the most favourite stations used for finding new content. Although, the proportion of music listeners who prefer to discover music via Heart Radio is relatively lower than BBC Radios 1 and 2 (8%), its popularity has doubled since the previous report.
The popularity of music TV channels as a way of discovery declined by 8 percentage points between 2012 and 2014. Less than a quarter (21%) of music listeners find music content through music TV channels, compared to almost three in ten (29%) in 2012. In addition, nearly half of music listeners (49%) discover new music through recommendations by word of mouth (versus 53% in 2012). Although there has been a rise of 2 percentage points in the popularity of recommendations / shares of music on social media sites and music apps on a smartphone or tablets, the differences are too minor to be considered significant.
The report also reveals that YouTube is still the most popular digital website listeners use to discover new music. 53% of music listeners prefer finding songs on YouTube compared to 55% in 2012. Both Spotify and SoundCloud have seen usage rise by 6 percentage points since the previous report. However, the popularity of Last.FM as a favourite website for the discovery of new music has significantly decreased by 9 percentage points (from 14% to 5%).
James McCoy, Research Director, YouGov Reports, says: “New media is changing the way music listeners consume audio content. This is evident in the rise of digital websites such as Spotify and SoundCloud. Digital music may be thriving in the UK; however, radio is still pervasive and is preferred as a way of discovering new music by the majority of listeners. With radio, music fans have a better chance of finding new content. Radio has that edge above other platforms because it’s live, free and gives an element of surprise once in a while”.