Music News

Latest Nielsen Report on Music Consumption in Canada

Don’t believe all the industry doom and gloom you hear in the news – music in Canada is doing pretty well. A recent survey by market research group Nielsen shows that more Canadians are listening to music, downloading music, and going to music events in 2017 than ever before.

Called the Music 360 Canada Report, the study surveyed almost 1300 Canadians aged 18 and over and weighted their responses to reflect Canadian census populations based on age, gender, region, education, and household size. For more details on the methodology of the survey or to check out the results yourself, you can find the study here. In the meantime, here are some highlights:

Music Consumption Is Going Up

In the 2017 report, 93% of Canadians say they listen to some sort of music – up from 89% in 2016. The listening growth may have something to do with the continued rise of smartphones, as 53% of the population is using them to access their music. Larger handheld devices are also on the move, with 30% of Canadians turning to tablets for their tunes. And in general, everyone is listening to more music each week: an average of 32 hours per seven days, up from 24 hours per week in 2016. But wait – don’t forget about trendy millennials! 96% of the younger generation listens to music, a whopping 79% listen on their smartphones, and 38% use tablets.

Formats Change, But Radio Stays On Top

Streaming services are on the rise, but the Nielsen report says that radio still remains as a top dog. 70% of Canadians still listen to radio programs broadcast on AM/FM or satellite frequencies, although online listening is not far behind. 62% of the study’s respondents say they listen to music online, while a whopping 83% of millennials say the same. However, the rise of intangible online formats mean that personal collections are dropping. Last year 38% of the population listened to music from their own digital libraries, but that number dropped to 35% in 2017. Physical formats are even less than that: just a quarter of Canadians still listen to music on tangible items like CDs, vinyl, or cassettes.

People Are Getting Out More

The cold never bothered us anyway! More Canadians are turning up to live music events in 2017 than previous years: 59% of the general population and 70% of millennials are flocking to stages, in fact. Of those live attendees, 57% have attended the standard one-headliner concert. However, intimate sessions like those at bars or coffee shops are popular, too – 45% of Canadians that see live music have been to a small venue show in the past year. That’s actually a greater share of the pot than festivals, which 41% of concert-going Canadians have attended. Although festivals do a better job of attracting millennials, with about 48% of the younger generation taking to the larger events.

There’s plenty more to be gleaned from the full study, but the highlights provide an optimistic outlook of where music in Canada is going. In any case there’s always more listening, and more studying, to be done! Who knows, maybe virtual music experiences will start to become more prevalent in consumption surveys down the road?

Mathew Kahansky

Once upon a time, Mat studied journalism. That's how he became Alan's one-time intern and current-time contributor, and the rest is ongoing history - get it? Mat also studied biology and music, so he has a strangely specific knowledge set that doesn't really apply anywhere other than useless fun facts. He currently works for a music tech start-up in Halifax, and is a big fan of the em dash.

Mathew Kahansky has 297 posts and counting. See all posts by Mathew Kahansky

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