Coleman Insights: Why Music Listening Is Different From Music Sales
Bridge Ratings Concurs
January 28, 2015 at 9:48 AM (PT)
On the COLEMAN INSIGHTS website, MATT BAILEY writes, "Before the advent of callout in the 1970s, radio’s only new music research tool was record sales. When people stopped buying a record, radio stations stopped playing the record. In the 1960s, almost every hit you heard on the radio was less than 12 weeks old.
"Today, sales data remain a point of insight decades after newer tools for gauging music’s appeal emerged. Still, clients who rely on our Integr8 service for insights into their audiences’ responses to new music are often surprised when new songs become top sellers but don’t instantly debut at the top of their new music research that same week."
BAILEY asks, "How do music buying patterns compare with how consumers listen to new music?"
"Music buying and music listening patterns are fundamentally different," he concludes. "When you understand why they’re different, you’ll also understand how making new music decisions based on sales data can lead your station astray."
Read MATT's full post here.
Meanwhile, BRIDGE RATING's DAVE VAN DYKE says in response, "BRIDGE RATINGS has been examining this space for some time now our analysis supports the information in MATT's article. The chart below graphically represents the year-by-year distribution of on-demand streamed songs on last week’s top 1000 most streamed songs in the U.S.
This chart represents all genres.
"To the point of the published piece this morning, it is clear from our analysis as well that songs are consumed over a much longer window than sales would account for.
"Case in point: on last week’'s Top 1000 most streamed songs ranker 33% were from 2014, 20% were from 2013, and it just gets more interesting from there:
2012 – 10%
2011 – 7%
2010 – 5%
2009 – 3%
"As you can see, there are songs that maintain their popularity long after the sales cycle. And while it may not be germane to current-based stations, there are songs on last week’s top 1000 from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Songs that sustain over time and are continually listened to. 51 songs on last week’s most-streamed songs list are from 2010. 20 of the top 100 are from 2011, 2012 or 2013. On-demand streaming data is radio’s opportunity to align itself with true music consumption. Let’s see what the industry does with it."