Total Responses: 1430
Digital Music: 36% of you spend money on subscription services like Rhapsody, Yahoo! Music, and eMusic or on track/album downloads from iTunes and Amie Street.
Mail Order: 22% of you spend money on ordering cds/vinyl online from retailers like Amazon and CD Baby.
Record Shops: Almost half of you spend money at physical music shops. What’s really interesting here is that more people who visit our site are spending money on CDs and records than are purchasing digital music. One of the reasons, I hypothesize, would be that people that use Hype Machine are more pro-active about finding/discovering new music than the average “music is just background noise” listener. These people are also generally the people who take in music as an entire experience, whether that includes physically putting on the record (and collecting releases) or by wanting to enjoy the CD in its entirety with its included artwork/packaging.
Random funny response: “Other: internet/power bills”
Another interesting finding to note here is from the Entertainment Media Research’s recent Digital Music Survey (PDF). In researching the impact of downloading on CD Purchasing, they found that downloading had no effect on 45% of people and 10% of people bought “more” or “many more” CDs as a result. On the flip side, 44% of people bought fewer or stopped purchasing CDs altogether.
Concert Tickets: The most popular place to spend your music budget is on live music. One funny anecdote I have about this is a music industry conference Anthony and I were at a few months ago. All the bigwigs were scrambling and worried about the state of declining CD sales and if digital music would offset that. The only person not shivering in his boots? The concert ticketing exec (either TM or LiveNation, I forget) who proudly proclaimed that you can’t “steal” a live experience and that all this digital activity was reinvigorating the concert industry like crazy. With free tools like Hype Machine and Last.fm helping to expose new music to listeners everyday, more and more people are getting out of the house and supporting the artists at shows. I’m a big fan of this kind of support as I feel that bands get much more money from me from a show these days than from your iTunes purchase.
Concert Merch: While this may be the smallest area that people allocate their music budgets to, I believe it has the highest profit margins for bands these days. Sure, you can go buy the CD for a dollar cheaper on Amazon, but getting it after the show, while actually talking to the band, is much more exciting for both parties and puts more money back into their pockets. I wouldn’t be surprised to see both ticketing and merch up a lot by this time next year.
We posed the question, “How do you discover music?” to see the various and popular ways you discover new music besides just on The Hype Machine. You were allowed to check as many ways as you used.
Total Responses: 1430
Friends: The grandaddy of music discovery, friends will always be an influential source of your musical tastes. Last.FM takes this to the next level by letting you snoop on what your friends are listening to right now without them even saying anything. While I personally find this really fun, the best signal-to-noise ratio will usually be when your friends play an album so much that they make a verbal recommendation to you.
Print: Over half of you still look to print for music recommendations. Things like the NY Times Music Section, Spin, and Paste Magazine still have the worthwhile writing and critics to pick some winners. Or maybe you need something to read on the plane.
Online Editorial: Unsurprisingly, the most popular way for our visitors to discover new music is via website reviews and blogs. And really, what can compete? With the possibility to find new sources of music your friends (or entire town) hasn’t heard of and simply explore more music than could ever fit in a magazine or between your friends ears, blogs are the most comprehensive.
Online Mechanical: This included things like Pandora, Last.FM’s automatic recommendations, MyStrands and other automatic and personalized recommendations scored the lowest. My theory is because this is the newest way of music discovery only really coming to fruition in the last 5 years:
A) people are still getting used to trusting computer algorithms for recommendations on something so emotional/personal (something that blogs/friends obviously have)
B) algorithms for recommendations haven’t hit the tipping point of getting more rights than wrongs.
Other ways people mentioned they discover new music: (write-ins)
* Television show soundtracks (see TuneFind and rejoice)
* Looking at the Top 8 friends on myspace pages of bands I love (usually will be bands they love)
* Terrestrial Radio (in pure oversight, we forgot to even include Radio in this question. people still listen to radio?)
* Music Comes To Me Group: It was really interesting to read the write-in responses of music bloggers and people in the music biz (dj,s booking agents etc) who have new music hunt them down in the form of cds/mp3s/email promos. Speaking from experience, the signal-to-noise ratio here is abnormally high as you can guess.
More to come!
Now that our survey is over, I’m going to start sharing our findings. First up is who actually uses The Hype Machine, and then will come what your music spending habits are like, what you think of Hype and how we can improve (you didn’t think we were done did you?)
Total Responses: 1764
One interesting tidbit: Anthony, Scott & I are pretty much living examples of our most popular demographic 🙂
Wow! That concludes our first ever user survey and you guys really came through. Thank you SO much for your time, we really appreciate it. We got 1764 responses and will be publishing some of our interesting findings soon!
Winners will be contacted today, so keep an eye out for our email!
Update: All prizes have been awarded! Thanks to Prickie, Threadless, The Poster List for supporting us. We already buy their stuff, you should too 🙂
Come one, come all! It’s our first ever Hype Machine User Survey, which will give us a better idea of who’s using our site, what they think of it, and how we can improve. But all work and no play makes nobody happy, right? We’re sweetening the deal with a bunch of prizes from our favorite online stores.
Click here to take survey Survey Now Closed
Prizes up for grabs:
Store: Prickie: The web’s largest collection of designer buttons. You will seriously spend hours enjoying the hunt for your favorite ones (I have).
Prize: (2) A 12 button mix-n-match pack (pick from over 15,000)
Store: Threadless: Who loves Threadless? We do! Anthony and I can’t seem to go anywhere without packing at least one Threadless shirt.
Prize: (3) A $25 Threadless Gift Certificate
Store: The Poster List: Seriously hot pop art posters designed by Neil & Adam. There’s something here for everyone, from music-related to machine guns that shoot butterflies (if only!).
Prize: (1) Three 12×18 Posters Of Your Choice
Store: Ticketmaster: This ticketing behemoth may have its faults but without it, you’d be standing outside the venue. Get out of the house already and go see a show!
Prize: (2) A $25 Ticketmaster Gift Certificate
Store: Sony MDR-EX51LP Fontopia Headphones: For the price, my favorite headphones ever (and I’ve gone through a LOT of different brands).
Prize: (2) A pair of Sony MDR-EX51LP Headphones
All you have to do is
take the full survey (Survey Closed) and be sure to enter your email address at the end. We’ll pick a random winner for each prize and let you know via email.
Thank you for taking the time to help us out!