How the Music Industry Is Alienating Its Most Passionate Customers…

by Paul Resnikoff

Who buys the most music?  Well, the people that care most about their music and the artists that make it.  Makes sense, but the most passionate fans buy a lot more than casual listeners: according to research just released by MiDIA Research, music ‘Aficionados’ account for 61% of all music purchases, whether that be recorded music, live music, music merchandise, or direct funding.

So why isn’t that group being focused on more?  According to the research, this coveted group is buying a lot less these days, mainly because there’s less reason for them to buy.  “Facebook and YouTube took artist-fan engagement to the masses, but music spending is still falling,” write MiDIA’s Mark Mulligan.

“Aficionados, the super fans that drive 61% of all music sales revenue, are both being taken for granted and reducing their spend, trading down from multiple albums a month to 9.99 subscriptions.”

And here’s the worst part: these fans want to buy more stuff, but they aren’t being given more reasons to buy.  “These fans want more from their favorite artists: 45% think music is more than just the song, that it is also the artist’s story and 18% would pay for an interactive artist app.  A new generation of music products are needed, built around interactivity, multimedia and artist subscriptions.”

So aficionados will come, if only artists would build it.  “A new generation of music products are needed, built around interactivity, multimedia and artist subscriptions. Products that will be radically different from their predecessors, and that will, crucially, be artist-specific, not store or service specific,” Mulligan notes.  “Rights’ owners will have to overcome some major licensing and commercial issues, but the stakes are high enough to warrant the effort.”

“At risk is the entire future of premium music products and of safe guarding the spending of the super fans, without which record music revenues will dwindle into insignificance.”