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How to Reach the Most Valuable Music Fans

The music industry isn’t what it used to be. The rise of streaming services has contributed to a decline in album sales—and a surge in concern about where the business is headed. But while consumer spending on CDs and digital downloads has fallen by nearly 50% in the past four years, live music spending is up by an impressive 66%. Could it be that this shift in music discovery isn’t harming the music industry, it’s simply driving consumers to put their pounds elsewhere?

To find out more about the growth of live music spending and the fans behind it, we conducted a survey and talked to 1,000 people between the ages of 18-49 who’ve attended at least one concert in the past year to get the scoop on how they discover music.

So how do Eventbrite’s attendees stack up against the general population? We ran the same survey with 1,000 consumers who bought a music ticket in the past year on Eventbrite—and found some fascinating differences.

Finding #1: Eventbrite music ticket buyers discover more new music at live concerts and music festivals.

They also discover more new artists through streaming services than the general population.

Think about music artists and bands you have discovered in the past year. How did you discover them?

Discovery channel General Population Eventbrite Music Ticket Buyers Difference
Traditional (including radio, TV, word of mouth) 68% 23% -66%
Streaming (including YouTube, Pandora, Spotify) 42% 50% +19%
Social (including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr) 14% 8% -43%
Live (saw an artist perform at a live show, concert, or festival) 8% 13% +63%

Numbers do not add up to 100% because the majority of people discover through multiple channel types.


Finding #2: Eventbrite music ticket buyers are more likely to use streaming services, with 94% reporting that they streamed recently.

And while a healthy percentage also listened to the radio and their own digital downloads, streaming still stood way out as their preferred mode of tuning in. CDs? Not so much.

Which of the following activities have you done in the past year? Select all that apply.

General Population Eventbrite Music Ticket Buyers Difference
Used a streaming music service/app 85% 94% +11%
Listened to digital music downloads you own 82% 77% -6%
Listened to broadcast AM/FM radio 84% 72% -14%
Listened to the CDs you own 75% 50% -33%

If you want to reach these ticket-buying fans, you’re in luck. Their activity on online channels like streaming makes them much more targetable.


Finding #3: Eventbrite’s highly-engaged fans are MUCH more likely to buy tickets to see newly discovered artists perform—regardless of how they found out about them.

Which of the following helped you discover a music artist or band that you later bought tickets to see perform at a live show, concert, or festival?

General Population Eventbrite Music Ticket Buyers Difference
Streaming music services/apps (Pandora, Spotify, Beats Music, SoundCloud) 56% 73% +30%
Social networks/apps (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr) 46% 57% +24%
They performed as an additional act or opener at a live show, concert or festival I went to 35% 62% +77%
Song identification services/apps (Shazam, SoundHound) 19% 29% +53%
Live event/concert sites/apps (Songkick, Bandsintown) 17% 26% +53%

Finding #4: Eventbrite music ticket buyers are way more likely to go to multiple music events every month—by a long shot.

85% of Eventbrite’s music ticket buyers go to at least one show or festival per month, compared to only 57% of the general population.

How many live shows, concerts, or festivals do you go to in a typical month?

General Population Eventbrite Music Ticket Buyers Difference
Less than 1 42% 16% -62%
1 30% 20% -33%
2-4 25% 50% +100%
5+ 2% 15% +650%

With 65% going to at least two shows every month–and 15% going to 5 or more–this puts Eventbrite buyers squarely in the “rabid concert-goers” category. Their supersized event attendance adds more fuel to the discovery flames, since they’re nearly twice as likely to discover new artists they love while at a live show or festival. And as we learned from our general population study, fans that buy tickets to live events spend twenty times as much on music, which fosters a larger revenue pool for the entire industry.

So, what does all this mean?

Eventbrite music ticket buyers are more engaged music fans, which translates into more spending. They partake more in “interactive” forms of music discovery and consumption, such as streaming and live shows. They go to more concerts, discover more music via live performances, and are more likely to convert their love for a newly discovered artist into an actual concert ticket purchase.

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