NARM, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, and research firm NPD Group have released a study showing that AM and FM radio are still very relevant to consumers in discovering new music. Traditional radio was the most popular way that respondents discovered new music in this study, while online radio and web videos were very important as well.
The purpose of the study was to better understand listening, new music discovery and purchasing behaviors among music consumers. The study found – not surprisingly – that younger music consumers are more actively interested in discovering new music. They use the widest variety of sources to find it, including radio, video, streaming and movies and they are more committed to ownership of the new music.
Older music consumers are less adventurous and more satisfied with traditional means of music discovery. They have lighter listening habits, and lower interest in digital sources of music discovery.
The study write up also states that “free online radio, video sites like YouTube and Vevo, and other emerging forms of influence are more likely to cause listeners to continue to stream songs, rather than buy them.” However, it makes no claims about the impact – positive or negative – that radio has on song and album sales. Yeah, I’m thinking this statement should have come with a little bit more substantiation in the form of data..