Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Music is better than sex

Some interesting numbers in the Marrakesh Records youth survey, the headline one being that - given a choice - British youngsters would rather go without sex than without music:

60% of 16-24 year olds would rather go without sex than music for a week. This increases to 70% for 16-19 year olds.

It's a pity they didn't pursue this line of questioning further: Kasabian, or your mate's sister? Ringtones or a handjob?

This, though, is more surprising:
Music consumption remains ubiquitous within the age group. 75% have watched a music video online in the last 3 months, 70% bought a CD, 62% listened to music on their mobile phone, 52% bought a music download and 45% played
a music game on a games console.

Seventy per cent bought a CD? Like, recently? Isn't the prevailing wisdom that young people never buy music at all, and when they do, it's digital? And yet here's a survey that sees seven out of ten people aged between 'late onset puberty' and 'too old to admit they still live with their parents' hoofing off to buy an old-style plastic disc with music on it?

Ah, but will they pay for this stuff?
61% of the age group do not feel they should have to pay for the music they listen to.

This is more marked amongst 15-19 year olds, of whom 69% do not feel they should have to pay.

Surely this doesn't automatically translate as "believe all music should be free", though? Clearly, there must be some cross-over between the two-thirds who don't feel they should pay, and the half who are buying downloads.

It turns out that the question was crucially different to 'should you pay for music' - it was 'should you pay for music you listen to on the internet' - so it's not about 'all for free' so much as 'free within certain contexts.'

There's also this confused question:
Do you feel it is morally acceptable to download music for free from the internet?

What, ever? It's perhaps more surprising that 34% said no rather than 66% saying yes - does that pious one-third really believe that there's never a moral argument? Would this not have been more interesting with the words "without the performer's permission" attached?

It's a confusion which shows itself again when the figure of "43%of music owned has not been paid for" is thrown into the mix - what exactly does that mean? That they've hoiked half the stuff off Pirate Bay, or merely careful and canny use of covermounts and tracks-for-email exchanges have kept down their musical outgoings? (It's even possible to have unlicensed music that you have paid for - if you bought a CD off a bloke down the office who does CD-Rs to orders, or got them allofmp3.com.)

Where does this age group find new bands? Mostly radio, it turns out, and YouTube. In fact, looking for new music online, YouTube is the first port of call - which, you know, would probably make you really, really sweaty if you were an executive at a label whose entire roster has recently vanished from the YouTube network.

The other online sources will make disappointing reading for their owners - only 15% of the respondents would seek out new music on the MySpace; 8% on Facebook; 4% for Last.FM and NME respectively. Still, the NME does better than Bebo, which creaks away at 2%. MP3 Blogs hit 1%. It would seem that the wider range of music available - and the better the search mechanism - the more likely people will turn up to seek new music there. That might not be very surprising.

Offline, that radio figure (67%)leads ahead of friends and music television. There's, perhaps, a crumb of comfort for NME that music magazines are valued by 17% of respondents as a route into new music - although that's one point behind "shows like the X Factor".

Apparently music blogs only help 14% of those surveyed to discover new music. That's because most of the time, we're pulling surveys to pieces.


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Do you feel it is morally acceptable to download music for free from the internet?"

Quite frankly the correct answer to that particular question in the report is "yes". It doesn't say copyrighted or illegal or whatever. It just says music. It just shows how stupid questions can be.

I think it's quite interesting that they don't even consider the fact that not all music is actually sold for money and perhaps *shock* some people actually like listening to music from people who release albums for free. No consideration that some of the kids today like service such as Last.fm and Spotify. Legal & Free.

Then again, what would I know - I too would rather have my music than sex.

Unknown said...

"Kasabian, or your mate's sister?"
That's not much of a choice.

Mate's mother on the other hand...

viviene joeli said...

Thank you, your article is very good

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