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Business News (more headlines) 10-19-2017

CMA Releases New Research: "The Way Forward For Country Music Streaming"

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The Country Music Association announced new research data that demonstrates that the Country Music audience is primed for significant growth in the streaming space.

Research was conducted to evaluate how streaming is changing consumers' relationship with music, including Country and other top genres. Over the past nine months, Country Music listeners were part of extensive research that included tracking music streaming behaviors on mobile devices, PCs, and laptops, in addition to extensive quantitative research describing their attitudes and perceptions about streaming experiences and providers.

"What we found in our research is exciting and very timely" says Karen Stump, CMA Senior Director of Consumer Research. "As our genre continues to exceed industry averages for year over year growth in audio streaming consumption, the time is now to build on opportunities to meet this growing consumer demand."

Research data was collected among 2,800 U.S. adults age 18-54, including streamers and non-streamers, between March and June of 2017. Proprietary research was commissioned by CMA and conducted by Magid Research Associates and LUTH Research, and is a benefit to CMA members.

Key Takeaways:

STREAMING SERVICES ARE UNDER-DELIVERING ON SURFACING COUNTRY.
There is a need to solve discoverability problems and place MORE and NEWER titles and artists on services with as much prominent placement and recommendations as possible. Not only are Country Music fans less satisfied with service-created playlists for the genre compared to others, they are less satisfied with their ability to discover new Country Music as well in today's streaming experience. Nearly half cited having better Country Music recommendations as the change that would most likely lead them to more Country Music streaming.

PAID ADOPTION VERSUS GROWTH.
This recent study shows that paid users stream much more often than free users – nearly twice as frequently compared to free users. These paid users are streaming Country titles more frequently, as well with 22% streaming Country songs five or more times a day versus 9% among free users.

STREAMING DRIVES OVERALL MUSIC INDUSTRY SPENDING.
Country Music listeners using paid streaming accounts are more actively listening to Country Music titles and more actively spending toward music in general. Among streamers that report streaming Country titles daily, 69% are paid users versus 31% free users.

Paid service users also showed significantly more spending on other Country Music media formats compared to free users. A finding that suggests there are key music consumers willing to spend is not a replacement across the spectrum of users.

NON-STREAMERS ARE CONFUSED ABOUT STREAMING PLATFORMS.
Services need to explain the benefits, points of differentiation and how to use these platforms. According to this latest data, consumer confusion may be a key barrier to adoption of streaming among some Country Music fans. The #1 reason cited for not using any streaming services was a lack of understanding about the features and benefits of streaming apps or that they are too hard to use. Educating non-users could go a long way toward driving new user growth.

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