A new study from Nielson finds the under-18 set could care less about CDs. YouTube, it turns out, is the way the majority of kids listen to music. And don’t even talk to them about streaming sites like Spotify and Rhapsody. According to the study, in fact, don’t bother anybody with streams. The Wall Street Journal says:
… among adults, cassette tapes remain more popular than many online music services, or even vinyl records, despite the latter medium's purported comeback in recent years. Nine percent of adult respondents said they listen to cassettes, more than Spotify (7%), LP records (6%), or music services from Yahoo Inc. (2%),AOL Inc. (2%), eMusic.com Inc. (1%) or Rhapsody (1%).
Not only is this bad news for the next generation’s ability to focus on one thing for more than a couple minutes, but weren’t streaming services supposed to be the wave of the future (and the saving grace for record companies)?
Nielsen executives said that the listening patterns, particularly the massive popularity of YouTube, show that record companies will need to stay nimble in a changing world. "What is the revenue they're getting per stream?" said David Bakula, a senior executive in Nielsen's entertainment-measurement division. "It's not the $10 they got for a CD."
When I look at the results of the over 3,000 respondents, it seems that people don’t like too much choice. 67% of adults like to get their music programmed for them and listen to the radio - not much choice there. YouTube is similar - click on one video, and you’re headed off down the curated rabbit hole that makes up YouTubes algorithm. Even iTunes, if you think about it, with its splashy front pages and chart lists serves up content. And we seem to like it that way as that’s where 53% of kids ages 13-17 and 29% of adults like to get their music.
Spotify... Rhapsody... Mog et al? Maybe the sites are too overwhelming.