91% of Music Fans Sample a Song on YouTube Before Buying It…

 And the point of withholding from Spotify is…?

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Source: Viacom (MTV/VH1/CMT) Research.  Study involved 1,200 participants 13-40 years old; plus in-depth study of 34 participants, secondary research,  proprietary panels and Facebook groups.

Written while listening to Paganini and London Grammar.

15 Responses

  1. FarePlay

    Don’t know what to make of this graph. The telling number would be of the 1,200 how many purchase songs from iTunes, not what percentage of people who purchase songs use YouTube as a reference.

    • GGG

      Pigs are flying through a frozen hell right now, because yea, this doesn’t really mean much.

      YT is the/a (depending how you look at it) new radio. Of course people are going to want to hear a track before they buy it and most people don’t know how to snag a song from YT. Not to mention YT has like 950M more users than Spotify, so it’s hard to even compare the two.

      Also, how many of those people buy albums? Look at top selling singles for the last few years and they’ve been the same numbers, if not more, than they’ve always been in the digital age. People still buy plenty of singles, it’s albums that are the real problem.

      • Paul Resnikoff

        YT is the/a (depending how you look at it) new radio.

        I think there are too many differences to call YouTube the ‘new radio’. For starters, once upon a time radio worked as a promotional vehicle for driving people to buy stuff like albums and concert tickets. But with YouTube, you choose the track, and you can listen to every single track on the album you may or may not purchase. It’s just a completely different level of interaction and experience, and it doesn’t drive sales traffic in anyway near the same way.

        I’m not saying that radio doesn’t have an impact on the artists that are played on mainstream, heavy rotation. But that’s not YouTube.

        • GGG

          I agree, which is why I added the “a.” I guess I’d say it’s more a variation, but I’d imagine by now more people hear a song for the first time on YT than on the radio. Just take avg time spent online vs avg time listening to the radio, odds are you’ll see a friend post a link before you hear a premier.

        • hippydog

          When it comes to sales traffic, Youtube is not the new radio..

          but for all other purposes, it is..
          Thats where people discover music..
          thinking of that..
          has anyone done a good study on HOW people actually discover, share , and purchase music lately?
          a lot of the “studies” coming out lately seem very incidental to the big picture.. IE: fluff

          • Paul Resnikoff

            Trust me, I’m digging around but there really isn’t that much research that truly examines consumer usage patterns and behaviors. I think there’s a simple reason for this: money. There aren’t enough companies that would buy this report, the industry is simply too small and cash-starved at this stage. If we’re in a recovery, well, it’s right after the bombings!

  2. Anonymous

    “91% of Music Fans Sample a Song on YouTube Before Buying It”

    That’ll drop to 10-20% when Google launches the new crippled YouTube Music.

    • Anonymous

      …anyway, here’s a far more important story:

      The video for the new Michael Jackson single has become the first music video to premiere on social networking site Twitter. It arrived at Wednesday 10PM, EST – 3am Thursday in the UK.

      SOURCE: The Telegraph, today

        • Anonymous

          Well, the point is this:

          first music video to premiere on social networking site Twitter

          That could be big.

  3. Anonymous

    And what percent decide to simply download it from youtube or add it to their playlist and not buy the track at all?

    • Anonymous

      Realistically you can only stream YT on PCs or smartphones through wifi. It’s a naturally gimped product, because the technology and cell data rates for streaming video are too expensive for consumers to treat it like a Spotify. Of course this can change in a few years as technology gets better (hint: it always does).

  4. KYLE


  5. Arpit Sharma

    YouTube has an in-debatable contribution in highlighting various underground artists in a positive sense (unless some moron uploads a music video to claim their legacy of so called “being a musician”).

    Artists like Boyce Avenue, Shraddha Sharma, Maati Bani, Pentatonix gain their identity with YouTube, so let go about the decision-making process of purchasing a song on iTunes. People want the “value for money” even when it comes to a simple thing like a song and YouTube gives them a great platform to measure it’s value.