Machine Shop: Hype Machine Team Blog

Hype Survey Results: Where Do You Spend Your Music Budget?


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 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.


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