Raised in the "always on" world of the Internet, on-demand content and social media technologies, today's youth has different expectations and media consumption behaviours than previous generations. This trend is especially evident when it comes to music. Driven by iTunes and the iPod, the youth of today have a big appetite for digital music, ring tones and all things mobile.
A study from Jupiter Research found that "worldwide, mobile music generated 4.4 billion dollars in 2005 and is expected to generate 9 billion by 2009...Mobile music now accounts for 15% of the entire music market--and youth leads the way (Juniper Research: Mobile Music: Ringtones, Ring-backs & Full-tracks (second edition & third edition)."
In February and March of 2008 the University Of Hertfordshire conducted the largest U.K. academic survey of its kind, When they looked at the music consumption behavior and experience of young people (aged 14-24).
Among the findings:
* Around 90% of respondents now own an MP3 player. They contain an average of 1770 tracks - half of which have not been paid for;
* 14- to 24-year-olds love music - arguably more than any previous generation;
* 58% have copied music from a friend’s hard drive to their own, and 95% copy music in some way;
* 63% download music using P2P file-sharing networks;
* The CD is not dead. Even if a legal file-sharing service existed, over 60% say they would continue to buy CDs;
* 42% have allowed P2P users to upload music from their computer. Much of this behavior is viewed as altruistic;
* 80% of current P2P users would be interested in a legal file-sharing service - and they would pay for it too;
* Money spent on live music exceeds that spent on recorded music.
Feargal Sharkey, chief executive of British Music Rights, summarises what this all mean for the music industry:
“The music industry should draw great optimism from this groundbreaking survey. First and foremost, it is quite clear that this young and tech-savvy demographic is as crazy about and engaged with music as any previous generation.
Contrary to popular belief, they are also prepared to pay for it, too. But only if offered the services they want. That message comes through loud and clear.”