Guess What? Music Is Still the Soundtrack of Our Lives

That headline sounds like it was written by the Dept. of Duh, but it actually leads into some interesting Nielsen data about how we consume music. “Soundtrack of our lives” is how they put it.

While technology and fragmentation are reshaping our media consumption, music remains an important part of our lives. Whether we’re in the car, at work, working out or surfing the web, we love listening to music. According to the Music 360 2015 report, Nielsen’s fourth annual study of U.S. music listeners, 91% of the national population listens to music, spending more than 24 hours each week tuning into their favorite tunes. While total listening figures are roughly the same as last year, how we access and engage with music is changing.

In looking at the report data, 75% of Americans listen to music online in a typical week, up nearly 12% from last year. And online listening trends are having a significant impact on our on-demand listening habits. While Americans streamed more than 164 billion on-demand tracks across audio and video platforms in 2014, they streamed 135 billion in the first half of 2015 alone – up more than 90% from the same period last year. And our music listening isn’t just becoming increasingly digital, it’s becoming more mobile. In fact, 44% of us report using our smartphones to listen to music in a typical week, a 7% increase over last year, while we’re listening on our desktop computers less.

Radio continues to be the No. 1 source of music discovery in the U.S, with 61% of respondents saying they find out about new music from AM/FM or satellite radio, a 7% increase over last year. Word of mouth is also important, particularly for teens: 65% say they discover new music through family and friends, well above the average of 45%.

Continue reading. Thanks to Brigitte for the link.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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