12-to-24 Demo Attending 57% Less Concerts Since 2000

If you think the concert industry is simply toughing it out, then you might want to take a look at the latest numbers.

According to a survey from Edison Research, 12-to-24 year-olds are going to just 0.9 concerts per year on average, down from 2.1 in 2000.  That represents a 57.1 percent drop.

Moreover, this downturn appears to be striking different types of fans – heavier attendees, lighter attendees, and those in-between.  Consider the following:

*In 2000, 24% surveyed attended 3+ shows annually
*In 2010, that number moved to just 12%
*In 2000, 43% reported not going to one concert
*In 2010, that figure expanded to 64%

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So what’s happening here?  Edison put huge blame on the Great Recession, though broader, secular effects are harder to pick apart.  “The concert industry – once seen as the great hope of music – has been whacked by the economy,” the Edison report declared.

The concert finding is part of a much broader demographic report, one actually more geared towards traditional radio listening.  And predictably, Edison surveys showed huge dips in terrestrial radio listening.  But radio still plays a critical role in discovery – both for new music, new artists, and upcoming concerts.

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29 Responses

  1. @musictrenches (Twitter)

    I think there’s also a product vs. price problem

  2. @thomcrossmusic (Twitter)

    Thom Cross
    Better scrap my live Bieber collab methinks!

  3. Suzanne Lainson

    I’ve been expecting this results. Those who think the music industry is booming don’t understand just how much belt tightening is going on. The discussion about the future will change dramatically when the numbers suggest that overall revenue is going down, not just for recorded music.

  4. @songhausmusic (Twitter)

    Dane Spencer
    Bottom line concerts cost to much!

  5. jack

    cut the concert ticket price by 30 or 40% + double the amount of shows at any given venue = more sold out concerts (aka 2x the amount of merch sold) + easier travel for the band and crew + many more local promotional opportunities…. bit who really thinks like that?

    seriously, how many times have you said an immediate “no” when you saw the ticket price for a show?

  6. Smart Alec

    Wow ! I didn’t know 12 year olds had bank accounts to purchase tickets ?! 🙁 ….. Fuck ! How many 24 year olds these days have a job ?!?! 🙁

  7. DJSirCharlesDixon

    Concert attendance is dropping due to lack of great bands and music product and more important the lack of seasoned industry vets that have the same God given talent to sign and develop talent as the talent that produces and performs the music.

    Today, we are dealing with the educated consumer and their attention span is short. There is a major lack of original and gifted talent at the labels. In the ‘On Demand’ world we live in, familiar sounding talent gets old fast. Labels have cut corners with exec talent for years and now they are paying for it and living in denial. Most of the greatest talent ever has been signed by execs over 35 with the right balance of work experience and life experience. There are exceptions but not many. I can remember when Benny Medina was 32 at Warner Brothers and Diddy was 26 but well mentored by Andre Harell.

    To further support my theory, let’s compare the music industry to the sports industry. In sports, talent is properly harvested from the best of the best there is. To get signed you have to be blessed with real talent. Even the athletes on the bench are great. The managers, coaches, agents and owners are all top rate execs. Now let’s look at the music biz. There is almost no criteria and the biggest artist today are successful due to the management and production companies not the labels staff. Beyonce, Lady GaGa, Rihanna, Kanye West, they all had to fight their labels and take a stand until the labels came in as the calvary when the artist’s team got the ball rolling.

    I have been a DJ since 1981, in radio since 1987, in records since 1990 and an artist manager since 2003. I have witnessed Dance, Hip Hop, Dance Hall, and Latin Freestyle go from small indie labels to mainstream. The artists from these formats were developed before they went to the majors. Just like minor leagues in sports. The music industry got greedy and the creative model was replaced by the corporate model. Now everything sounds the same, looks the same and is disposable.

    Getting back to my point, why are people surprised that kids are not going to concerts. Why do you think DJs are replacing bands? Today’s music lacks originality and people are going to the net just like they did when they realized they bought an album that only had two great songs and they paid 15 dollars for it! That’s how napster and limewire were born. Kids started to make their own compilations or mixtapes. I will stop here but nothing is more frustrating than reading statistics about the music biz with out anyone pointing out the real cause and effect factors. Yes we are in a recession. Stadiums are still packed! iPods are selling and so are smart phones and computers.

  8. @guiwerneck (Twitter)

    Acha que as pessoas compram menos discos mais vão mais a shows? A Edison Research mostra que, nos EUA, não.

  9. @babettesully (Twitter)

    64% of 12-to-24 year-olds attended ZERO concerts last year

  10. GD

    This would be a lot more useful if it was plotted against average ticket price. How about that for the follow up story?

  11. presnikoff

    Correct. This is a US study. More methodology details here:

    1533 interviews nationwide

    875 interviews age 12-24 (demo)

    888 interviews age 22-34 (cohort)

    Online survey of respondents ages 12 to 34

    Interviews conducted 9/8 – 9/13, 2010

  12. presnikoff

    It’s a really interesting idea. Just wondering where I can source accurate information on both attendees and average pricing. /pr

  13. @WEGETLIVE (Twitter)

    Proof that most artists are one day away from being as po’ as the rest of us

  14. @digisingle (Twitter)

    This generation of kids are going to less shows… any thoughts why?

  15. @audibletreats (Twitter)

    Everyone hopes concert revenue will save the biz. Here’s cold hard facts about decline in ticket sales

  16. YO YO

    My frustration with concerts is that all the best tickets are gone before they go onsale to the public. Yet, they show up on resale sites and 4X the price and make it impossible to afford. I’d pay $200 for a top ticket to sit up close, but ones like that would be $800 easy at a broker site. I’d rather see that money go to the bands…

  17. @panicmanual (Twitter)

    where is ’50 or more’ on this pie chart ?!?

  18. Grammar police

    It’s “fewer” concerts, not “less” concerts.

  19. nathanJE

    Actually, it should be “Grammar Law Enforcement,” as “Grammar Police” improperly mixes jurisdiction (ie, Chicago) with concept.

  20. Suzanne Lainson

    More and more you don’t have to pay high prices on the secondary market. People have learned that in many cases the tickets aren’t that scarce and if you just wait until close to the concert date, you may get them for below list price.

  21. CrowfeatheR

    This is CrowfeatheR ~

    I’d like to see the comparison to the 1980’s and 1990’s. I used to make a living doing music, now what used to be the best paying gig in town pays you with a plate of french fries.

    All ages shows used to sell out routinely, now teens and 20’s sit in their rooms texting each other while the helicopter parents hover outside the door protecting them from the boogey man, sex and real human relationships. It is a societal thing, the baby boomers went to rock concerts to have irresponsible sex and drop acid and they want their kids having no part of it. The end result is $20 Ozzfest tickets and a parade of canceled and clipped tours.

    The remedy? sell to young people, sell hard, sell everywhere. Relate to them that concerts are life experiences you never forget. Turn the fuck down so peoples ears can actually discern what you are playing. Play smaller venues with cheaper ticket prices and do BOGO incentives.