63% of Core Music Buyers Prefer Music from the Past

Gracie Management Poll™ finds 63% of core music buyers prefer music from the past. Younger people are having a greater respect for older artists than in the past, providing new opportunities for those artists who are still active.

In an industry where a small percentage of polished, brand new, plugged-in and tech-savvy artists, think Justin Bieber and his 26 million Twitter followers, gain the majority of attention from music media and industry, the Gracie Management Poll™ finds that a strong majority of core music buyers, defined by age as being between 18-34, think contemporary music is not as good as older music. 63% stated that music today is worse than it has been in the past, perhaps demonstrating a trend for the industry to invest in greater artist development, along with providing new opportunities for “older” artists still working.

“I think this finding helps to explain why we have seen an increase in the sales of catalog albums, which cannot be occurring solely based upon people aged 35 and older. Core music buyers, who are between 18 and 34 years-old, are playing a role, too. This is quite exciting and can help bring new life to many older artists as compared to past decades when younger people would simply reject these musicians as being their parent’s or grandparent’s music. These older artists have a good level of cache, and it is easier to get exposed to their music with streaming services such as Spotify,” says Chasson Gracie, Founder and CEO of Gracie Management.

Survey Methods

Results for the Gracie Management Poll are based upon online interviews that were conducted on June 29, 2012 among 521 adults between the age of 18-34, living in the United States and part of an opt-in panel. Results are based on the total sample of US online adults between 18-34; one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4.3 percentage points.

The sample targets were set to accurately reflect the US 18-34 online population (94% of total US 18-34 population are online). Demographic weighting was applied to race/ethnicity and gender based on the 2010 Decennial Census to ensure results are representative. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of all public opinion polls.

Core music consumer being 18-34 is based upon observational data performed by Gracie Management, along with findings from Nielsen’s Digital Music Consumption Study that found there was consistent erosion of music consumption for people 35+ years-old.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, for the first time in history, the first half of 2012 saw catalog album sales exceed the sales of new releases.

About Gracie Management

Gracie Management, led by Chasson Gracie, a ten-time marketing award winner who is also Head of Strategic Planning for the New York office of Dieste, combines strategic planning with statistical modeling for musicians, record labels and artist managers to leverage data for smarter campaigns, promotions and platforms; identify their audience, learn how they consumes music, and grow their influence. The unique method brings a science to a field that has long survived on gut decisions, which in many cases has damaged careers. Gracie Management has worked with musicians on an international level, lending its methodology and expertise to Universal Music Group and independent artists.