Eventbrite, the global ticketing and events marketplace which has ticketed more than 165,000 music events globally, has released new research that explores the link between music discovery and live concert attendance. In the past four years, per capita spend on CDs and digital downloads has fallen by nearly 50 percent, but spending on live music is up by 66 percent. Eventbrite partnered with independent research group MusicWatch, Inc. to conduct a nationwide survey of 1,000 people between the ages of 18-49 who attended at least one concert in the past year. The report, “From Stream to Ticket: Mapping the Value of Music Discovery,” how post-discovery behavior is helping drive incremental spending in live music.
Beyond Linear Discovery
Broadcast radio has been the historical driver of music discovery and remains relevant as a form of music consumption. However, the study showed that music discovery is a more integrated process, with fans relying on a mix of broadcast radio, TV, word of mouth, streaming, social media and live events to drive discovery.
“The linear ‘play then purchase’ model of radio airplay followed by a trip to the record store has been replaced by an approach of cross-pollination,” said Russ Crupnick, Managing Partner, MusicWatch Inc. and former president of NPD Entertainment. “Concert-goers still rely on traditional mediums to learn about music and discover new artists. However, streaming, social [media] and live provide a discovery canvas for a wider set of artists who may not be getting mainstream airplay, ultimately driving more fans to their shows.”
Live Music Discovery Breeds High Value Fans
When asked about live shows, concerts or festivals, 33 percent agreed they discovered music they liked from unfamiliar artists or bands who performed as an opener or additional act. Three out of four fans who discover an artist at a live event said they had purchased a ticket to see that artist perform again. Further, these high-value fans are attending shows more frequently and contributing to artists’ revenue streams. They are
15 percent more likely to attend two or more concerts per month than fans who discover through radio, TV or word of mouth and 28 percent purchased artist merchandise post-discovery.
Streaming Fuels Attendance at Live Music Events
Although there is heated debate around how people’s music listening habits are affecting revenue for artists, streaming is fueling more attendance at live events. When asked how they discovered artists and bands in the past year, 42 percent of survey respondents cited audio or video streaming services like Pandora, Spotify and YouTube, which have grown in participation from 56 percent of the Internet population in 2012 to 69 percent in 2014. Half of the fans that discover a new artist or band through streaming are buying tickets to their show and nearly a quarter purchased artist merchandise post-discovery.
Social Media Drives Ticket Sales
Two out of three respondents say they discover a lot of music they like on social networks, and 14 percent mentioned learning about entirely new artists and bands on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr. Fifty-seven percent who found a new artist or band on social media indicated that they went to see that artist perform live and 33 percent reported purchasing artist merchandise. A single Facebook share yields an incremental $4.48 in ticket sales for Eventbrite’s music events, further demonstrating the power of social discovery.
“Live events have the power to increase engagement and fuel the independence of musicians. The links we saw in our research between discovery and monetization are very encouraging,” said Julia Hartz, co-founder and president of Eventbrite. “Experiencing music live creates the strongest bond between artist and fan and those who buy tickets to live shows spend nearly 20 times as much on music overall compared to non-ticket buyers. As fans become more emotionally and financially invested, they drive more value to the industry."
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