Making music is brilliant. Here at Spinnup we are genuinely super impressed with everyone who makes music and works hard to promote it. But if you want to be successful the name of the game is convincing people that they absolutely have to support you and buy your music.
The good people at Universal Music’s Global Insight team spend a lot of time indeed looking into who buys music, why they do, what they’re looking for and much more to understand how best to reach music consumers. We asked them for some top tips on what you need to know about music consumers.
1. Lots of people still buy CDs
Once upon a time there was nothing more futuristic than the CD. While downloading and streaming have eaten into CDs’ share and in Sweden have completely overtaken physical sales, 67% of global recorded music revenues still come from CDs and 90% of consumers say CDs are one of their main ways of listening to music. Sure, their share is declining, and having a presence on digital platforms is a no brainer and is where we at Spinnup come in, but it’s important to understand that there are still a lot of consumers who value CDs as well.
2. Getting noticed by consumers is hard
According to Universal Music’s research, 15% of consumers say they do not know where to find new music, while 14% say they used to know but not so much nowadays. Just getting your music out there isn’t enough, you still have to be always thinking of new ways to let people know about your music. Speaking of which…
3. ‘Old’ media really matters
Radio, TV, press and films are really influential when it comes to music discovery, far more than influential in fact than streaming services and live when it comes to finding new music. Streaming services are really important follow-up mechanisms – after people discover music through old media, they go to these services to listen again. But to make people aware in the first place, you need to be thinking about how you can get your music onto established media.
4. Music is more popular with consumers than merchandise
Around 35% of people say they purchase music very or fairly often, whilst only 10% of people purchase merchandise like T-shirts fairly or very often. That’s still a large potential market for your T-shirts and any other genius merchandise ideas you have, but for most artists that’s always going to be secondary to their music. Which is why people who reckon that artists should give their music away for free and ‘make up’ the difference in T-shirt and merchandise sales really don’t have the faintest idea what they’re talking about.
5. Have different products for different fans
Different types of people want different things. Some consider vinyl to be oversized, old fashioned and rather pointless, while for others it’s the most valuable and amazing music medium in the world. Some people love CD box sets, others have ditched their collections for a Spotify connection. You want your music to appeal to as many people as possible, so don’t just have one single option for all the fans who want to support you.
It’s a good idea to think about merchandise as soon you start gigging… Merch – Decoded.