Music Experience and Behavior in Young People in the UK – a workshop presentation

On 17 January 2011 Dennis Collopy and David Bahanovivh from the University of Hertfortshire presented the results of the panel study on “Music Experience and Behavior in Young People” in a workshop at the Institute of Culture Management and Culture Studies at University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Until now results are available for 2008 and 2009, but the next wave of interviews will be conducted in spring 2011.

Music Experience and Behavior in Young People, Survey results 2008

Music Experience and Behavior in Young People, Survey results 2009

Presentation of the 2008 and 2009 results 

In the following the results of both studies will be highlighed:

The findings were based on a large-scale survey of 1,808 UK respondents aged between 14 and 24. The sample included a representative mix of all ages within the target group and originated from all over the UK. The study was commissioned by UK music, an umbrella organization of influential music institutions in the UK such as collecting societies, music industry bodies and interest groups of musicians.

The results of the 2008 and 2009 studies unveiled four central needs of young music consumers:

  • The need to acquire music: The tech-savvy young generation loves music more than ever and that it remains a vital and passionate part of their daily lives. The average digital collection of a young music fan now contains upwards of 8,000 tracks, whereof 1,800 can be found as MP3-files on portable music storage devices. The computer has become the primary means of accessing music.
  • The need for sharing music: 61% say that they still continue to share copyrighted music using file-sharing applications and torrent trackers, mostly on a weekly or daily basis and mainly because it’s free and they are not going to get caught. In addition to file sharing networks, they use Bluetooth, email, hard drives, hosting sites, USB sticks, CD-Rs and YouTube streams to their music files. To put it in a nutshell: “They simply want what they love – the music – and they want it now.”
  • The need to own music: The underlying passion and excitement of “owning” music remains incredibly strong and consistent. The respondents value physical music products higher than non-physical, digital formats. Thus, the seize of the respondends’ CD collection increased also year on year – although that does include original and copied discs. However, the majority of young music fans clearly understand such activities are not legitimate in the UK, but they continue to do what technology allows.
  • The need to own digital files: The age group of young people is interested in new services and the results indicate that they will pay for them. Thus, 85% of P2P downloaders said they would be interested in paying for an unlimited, all-you-can-eat MP3 subscription service. Despite enthusiasm for streaming music online, streaming is not necessarily seen as a replacement for ownership. However, 78% of respondents said they would not pay for such a service. To sum it up, young music consumers want to won music in physical as well as non-physical form.

These are the main results of the first two waves of the study. We will see if the 2011 survey comes to different findings or not. However, the authors will refine their questions in respect to a gender specific gap of music consumption as well as to fans of different music genres. In any case, you will find the results of the current surey of the music experience and behavior in young people in the UK here later on.

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January 2011




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