Are Consumers Really Screaming for Better Music Discovery? Take a Look

  • Save

The music discovery space has always been like crack for brainiac PhD entrepreneurs.

It seems like there’s always another startup concocting algorithms and space-age formulas to create the perfect discovery engine.  But are music fans screaming for better discovery, or are they happy with the music they have?  Or, for that matter, simply finding enough music through existing channels?

Well, one discovery-focused company is seeing lots of opportunity, based on its own research.  We’re always wary of ‘vendor-sponsored research,’ though a recent survey from music recommendation firm Orpheus Media Research reaffirms that most consumers are relying on terrestrial radio and friends for most of their discovery.  In fact, the influence of traditional radio remains disproportionately large.

But this is not either/or terrain, and digital platforms are also making lots of headway.  In fact, a substantial 40 percent also indicated that they use online or mobile recommendation services.  That suggests lots of opportunity, despite the heavy influence of traditional channels.  Take a peek at these findings, based on a survey set of 500 US consumers:

*57 percent rely on radio or word-of-mouth to learn about new music; 14 percent rely on mainstream media.

*40 percent have more than 1,000 songs in their personal music library.

*82 percent identified radio as the greatest single influence of their music listening.

*44 percent rate their friends as good or excellent at identifying good music.

*44 percent  have used a music recommendation tool and, of those, 40 percent  use it either daily or a few times per week.

*77 percent have discovered new music while using a recommendation tool, and 92 percent continue to listen to that new music, often recommending it to others.

*On available recommendation tools, 60 percent feel that the results are accurate more than half the time.

*Out of the 87 percent of respondents who actively search out new music, 22 percent find it difficult or nearly impossible to discover new, unheard-of music that they like.