British Music Rights Survey On Teenage Kicks

British Music Rights Survey Shows Teenage KicksIt looks like someone in the music business has taken a hard swallow and commissioned some research giving the true view of UK 14-24 year olds. Potentially refreshing.

Not only that, but it appears that they’ve swallowed even harder and decided to actually listen to what those surveyed are actually saying – perhaps a first in the music industry.

Its aim was to discover how the 14-24 year olds collect and use music, with a bit of a stretch, we could call it their musical Teenage Kicks.

Feargal Sharkey, he of The Undertones band fame is now the CEO of trade organisation British Music Rights, the organisation that commissioned the research provided a realistic but hopeful summation, “It is quite clear that this young and tech-savvy demographic is as crazy about and engaged with music as any previous generation. Contrary to popular belief, they are also prepared to pay for it too. But only if offered the services they want. That message comes through loud and clear.”

Shark-ers pulled it all together with, “How the music industry repositions itself here, and builds new mutually-beneficial commercial partnerships with technology providers remains the key challenge ahead.” To true, but given past experience, the music biz won’t be quick to react.

Some details
The survey — reputedly the largest ever conducted in this area — carried out by The University of Hertfordshire, has been brought together into a 41 page document, so we’ve picked out the main points.

Initially they focus of what they describe as two relationships – emotional and experimental.

They like music and a wide variety of it: Shock
As has been since the invention of the teenager, music stirs the passions of those who listen to it. This emotional bond leads them to be prepared to pay more for a specific item: the original CD, band paraphernalia, or concert tickets.

The experimental side appears to refer to them liking to try-out lots of different types of music – and once new music has been discovered, sharing their views on the music.

92% of 14-17 year olds own a digital music player, reducing to 84% for the 18-24 year olds.

Music downloading
63% admitted to downloading music from unlicensed P2P network, with the average number of track being 53. The top end showed up to 5,000 tracks a month being downloaded.

18-25 year olds were by far the largest group of downloaders, although it was the youngest group, 14-17, that downloaded the most tracks per P2P session.

Reasons for downloading
We find the reasons for sourcing tracks from P2P as some of the most revealing information.

Over 60% cited “To find rare or unreleased music,” as was “try before you buy.” Over 40% said getting pre-release music was their reasons.

We suspect the music industry will focus on the 70% who said “because it was free.”

What they should really being seeing is that these young-ish people want access to the music that they want – something us early MP3 fans have been pointing out as the major reasons for P2P networks since Napster initial rise.

There’s a ton of other details available in The report (PDF)

Ooo, and Teenage Kicks from the 1978 Undertones …