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How We Find, Listen And React To Music


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Nielsen is the company with the answers. For years, they have compiled reports determining what consumers watch and buy in order for marketers to better understand their target market. Recently, Nielsen released its U.S. Music 360 Report for 2017, highlighting ongoing trends on music consumption. This is the sixth year Nielsen put out this report to analyze the way consumers find, listen to and react to music and live shows.

Data Collection


A note about the study participants and the way the study was carried out. All data was collected in August 2017. Over 3,000 American music consumers from the age of 13 and older participated. The survey was conducted online.

Survey Results

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Nielsen determined that, overall, many consumers are listening to music as an individual. This means that they're using their personal devices to access and listen to music. This is yet another shift in music consumption since the latest technological advancements. Listeners are creating unique playlists, curating their music to their personal tastes, and choosing what, if anything, to share over social media.

Rise in Playlists

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While the study showed that 58% of listeners are making their own playlists, only 32% of them are sharing those playlists with family or friends. Nielsen notes that the act in itself of creating a playlist has become a sort of hobby for many, and this even extends to playlists generated by the artists themselves to share with their social media followers. However, listeners are quick to point out that they much prefer their own lists, and those of their friends and family, than industry-created playlists. Many playlist creators curate their music with a mix of self-made playlists and those created by their favorite musicians. According to Nielsen:

•38% of listeners agree that playlists are important to their streaming experience

•44% enjoy creating their own playlists as they utilize streaming servcies

•48% prefer their own playlists over those shared by others

Ways to Discover New Music

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Radio is clearly NOT dead. In fact, 49% of respondents say that they have discovered music from AM/FM radio. But sharing music recommendations is still very common, with 40% of respondents saying that they discover new music from their friends and family. Other stats Nielsen found include:

•27% of respondents discover new music from online music services

•25% of listeners head to social media to find new artists and songs

Music in Advertising

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Although the Nielsen study did not cover music in advertising, the Global Music Report 2017 published by IFPI showed that revenue from the use of music in advertising, film, games and television programs – grew by 2.8% compared to the 7.0% rise in 2015, maintaining its 2% share of the global market.

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Listening Habits Affected by Technology

Music is at the user's fingertips now more than ever. When at home, listeners report using smartphones, laptops and tablets to access and listen to music. In the car, however, the radio is the predominant medium. Nielsen reports that:

•3.4 devices are used by listeners each week to listen to music

•44% of respondents listen to music at home

•29% listen to music in the car

Streaming Services are Essential

Listeners are engaging with their favorite artists on social media channels. Many streaming services are already integrated with certain social media channels, and Nielsen expects this to continue and expand. Listeners welcome the possibility of getting a glimpse into their favorite artist's life, and being among the first to hear new music and engage in new experiences online with the musician. Nielsen reports:

•55% of all listeners use social media to stay informed about their favorite musicians

•54% use social media to find out about new albums

•50% use social media to find out about upcoming tours

•48% use social media to find out more about the artist's life

Live Shows Connect Listeners to Artists

Nielsen found that live shows, from concerts to tours to festivals, are essential to engaging listeners. They report that this is essential knowledge for live show sponsors and endorsers who can engage with their target market at these events.

EDM Listeners


Apart from the study outlined above, Nielsen also studied EDM listeners -- back in 2014. They found that this influential music genre is about more than just listening to and enjoying music: It's a culture all its own. The typical EDM listener is:

•55% men

•45% women

•18-24 years old

deadmau5 is one dance music innovator who is capturing this valuable target audience. Through an upcoming podcast and new album in 2018, deadmau5 is a regular festival headliner, including Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Sonar, Virgin Mobile FreeFest, Ultra Music Festival, and Electric Daisy Carnival.

deadmau5 is also known as Joel Zimmerman. Hailing from Toronto, Zimmerman performs extraordinary live sets, putting together his tracks as the performance progresses with some high-tech computer software, some of which he wrote himself. Breaking barriers in the dance/electronic scene since he came on it in 2007, deadmau5 has earned numerous accolades after his performance at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards in 2012 as part of a feature on electronic music.

His best-known albums include "4x4=12", "For Lack Of A Better Name", and "Random Album Title". International notoriety was gained by his hit tracks including "Sofi Needs A Ladder", "Ghosts 'n' Stuff", and "I Remember". A three-time Grammy Award nominee, deadmau5 also earned numerous JUNO Awards.

A social media guru, deadmau5 has over 6.5 million Facebook fans, over 1.3 million Twitter followers and a huge following on It is on this latter platform that deadmau5 has helped discover and propel the career of a number of young artists, including Houston-based DJ and producer Kindrid, who is generating a lot of buzz and trending as one of the most exciting emerging artists to watch in the coming year.

The remix by deadmau5 of Kindrid’s “Demise” on a live broadcast has been viewed thousands of times and attracted the immediate attention of a number of top international DJs.

Kindrid creates primarily half-time drumstep, and his music influences can be heard in work by Au5, Rezz, No Mana, Direct, MrFijiWiji, Fractal, Notaker, Haywyre, Koda, ATTLAS and Laszlo, but his distinctive sound is far from derivative – if you are looking to listen to the next hot DJ, Kindrid is blazing trails in Houston’s burgeoning independent digital music scene and is definitely an “artist to watch” in 2018.

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