In today's hyper-competitive space for consumer attention, brands need to understand the "why" behind fan passions in order to build effective engagement. Havas Sports & Entertainment's Ignition explored the topic of music and fans and has released its findings in a new report, “Fans.Passions.Brands.”
The majority of people (56%) listen to at least 10 music genres, with the most popular musical genres in the U.S. being: Rock (17%), Country (12%), Gospel/Christian (7%), Pop/Folk (6%), R&B (6%), and Hip Hop/Rap (6%).
While 90% of Americans listen to music at least once a week, they are quite traditional in their music consumption habits, which bodes well for radio advertising. Radio remains the most popular mode of listening, with 68% of people listening to car radio and 64% listening to other types of radio at least once a week.
That said, four in 10 (42%) listen to music through video-sharing sites like YouTube and Dailymotion at least once a week.
The study also found that despite growing access to free music sites, people are still purchasing music. More than half of respondents (54%) consume music from CDs, while 40% of respondents listen to music via legal downloading from services such as iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. Thirty-five percent use free on-demand streaming services like Spotify, Deezer and SoundCloud.
One key takeaway for advertisers is the need to remember there is no universality. "Diverse musical choices and distinct geographical / cultural differences in music preferences demand flexible and customizable music strategies that can cater to varying audiences and environments for brands," says Mikey Hersom, president, Ignition. "A national campaign may need a music strategy that can potentially leverage multiple genre types and music consumption platforms by market."
The age of brands doubling-down on specific music genres may also be coming to an end, says Hersom. "Think Sprite and hip-hop," he says. "With the digital revolution and the new democratized access to music of all types, fans identify and follow a much more diverse range of music genres. Brands will need to consider new ways to cluster their audiences in music and allow for artists and music types across genres based on those new characteristics."
Opportunities abound for advertisers to leverage the passion of music through sweepstakes and sponsorships. According to the study, 69% of Americans would like the opportunity to meet their favorite artist and 64% would like the opportunity to be invited to a concert or festival. A similar percentage (65%) would like to have free access to music via an app or streaming service and 52% would like to have access to live broadcasts of concerts and music festivals via computer, mobile or tablet. There's isn't as much interest in becoming the next American superstar, however. Only 2% would like to take music lessons for free.
The study explores potential sponsorship avenues for festival partners: 87% of fans would like to have access to a comfortable place to chill and hang out and 73% would like to discover new talent. Also, 66% would like to take pictures with friends in different situations and share them on social networks, and 59% would like to try out new musical instruments.
The Ignition report was conducted in partnership with the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab and Havas Media’s “18” innovation hubs.
The global survey took place in May 2015 across 17 markets -- France, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Russia, South Africa, the U.S. (including a specific focus on the Hispanic community), Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, China and Belgium. The research method involved online questionnaires that YouGov disseminated to a total of 18,000 people, over age 13. More on the report can be found here.