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News July 3, 2019

New study explains just how Australians connect with music

New study explains just how Australians connect with music
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Music is the number one passion for one in three Australians, Aussies are listening to music three-to-four hours a day on average, a bunch of us won’t go to gigs alone, and album listening isn’t dead.

These are just a few of the findings announced by Chris Carey, CEO of Media Insight Consulting, this afternoon. Carey is speaking at CHANGES conference in Melbourne today and tomorrow as a Critical Thinker for the Victorian Music Development Office (VMDO).

Carey, who brought his own music industry conference FastForward to Sydney for the second time this April, partnered with VMDO to understand how Australians access and engage with music.

The VMDO Music Consumer Insights research, undertaken in June this year, surveyed 2,025 Australians through an online 30-question survey focussed on music access and engagement.

The key findings include:

Album listening isn’t dead and CDs are still in demand

Carey and VMDO’s research found that the album format is still very popular (even in our playlist-driven era).

“This is encouraging for artists who want to deliver a body of work (not just tracks) and the demand highlights the opportunity for musicians to sell CDs and whole albums directly to consumers via their own digital channels or at their live performances,” said Carey.

VMDO Music Consumer Insights on CDs

VMDO Music Consumer Insights

YouTube is the biggest music streaming service in Australia

There shouldn’t be too many surprised faces here. YouTube is is technically the second largest search engine in the world, and has a monthly active user base of 1.9 billion.

In this Australian study, YouTube performs strongly (21%) ahead of other specialist streaming services (11%).

Carey said that while Spotify is the biggest revenue earner and pays more per stream to artists than YouTube, music businesses need to capitilise on the opportunities that YouTube offers for engaging with music consumers.

“The deeper engagement offered through video is one avenue that will convert listeners into fans,” he said.

changes study research

VMDO Music Consumer Insights

Live music has a mass appeal but 34% of Aussies can’t afford more of it

The survey found that over 60% of Australians attend a live music event at least once a year. However those surveyed offered very telling reasons as to why they don’t see more live music.

VMOD results

VMDO Music Consumer Insights

1 in 3 people feel live music is too expensive, 25% said the location was too far away, and over 20% of people in the 16-24 age demo identified that they do not want to go alone.

VMDO Music Consumer Insights live music

VMDO Music Consumer Insights

Music discovery is driven through traditional media and streaming

Despite streaming platform features like New Release Radar and Discovr Weekly, Australians largely discover new music via free, traditional platforms like radio, television and film. These methods are ranked in the top ways to find new music, alongside playlists and YouTube.

The survey also found the most popular way to explore further is to stream on YouTube (26%) or paid streaming (17%) through Spotify or Apple Music.

“There is an opportunity to shift people from music engagers to music fans and importantly to bring listeners into the paid ecosystem for the first time,” said Carey.

Radio still really matters for listening, gigs and discovery

48% of those surveyed listed radio as their biggest platform for listening to music. This was followed closely by CDs (44%) and free video streaming (44%).

Interestingly, radio is the top way people find out about live gigs (44%), compared to YouTube (22%), which ranked as second highest.

“The role of community radio is a major contributor that drives people to the discovery of emerging local music and supporting a thriving local scene (particularly in Victoria through Tripe R and PBS).”

VMDO Music Consumer Insights radio

VMDO Music Consumer Insights

Speaking to TIO about his most notable findings, Chris Carey said:

“The big stand outs for me was the passion for grass roots music, with 2 in 5 Australians going to a pub/club show each year, and the reach of YouTube in connecting with mass market consumers, as well as music fans, for music listening and discovery.”

Download the full report here.

CHANGES takes place July 3 and 4 for ideas, tech-talk, networking and, of course, music. For more information visit

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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