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Twitter Hits Right Notes for Music Industry

Twitter users are more engaged with music - both online and offline - than non-tweeting counterparts.

They also are more likely to spend money on downloaded music, according to research from The NPD Group.

Findings from the firm's latest music acquisition study suggest Twitter, if approached appropriately by marketers, has the potential to spread the word about new music and stimulate purchases of songs, albums, music-related merchandise and concert tickets, MarketingCharts reports.

Twitter Awareness Doubles

The research revealed Twitter awareness more than doubled in the first quarter of 2009, reaching a level of 52% among America's internet-using population, up from 22% awareness in Q408.

Among music buyers, awareness of Twitter is even higher, reaching 67% in Q109, with 12% of music buyers saying they used Twitter in the past three months, vs. 8% of web users overall.

More Music Acquired

In terms of music-buying behavior, one third (33%) of Twitter users in the survey reported buying a CD in the prior three months, and 34% purchased a digital download. These figures are significantly higher than those for overall web users (23% and 16%, respectively).

npd-twitter-users-music-habits-preferences-june-2009.jpg

More Money Spent

When Twitter users purchase music, they spend more money than their non-Twitter counterparts, the study found. In fact, people on Twitter purchased 77% more digital downloads, on average, than those who were not tweeting.

More Online Engagement

Twitter users also are much more likely than average web users to be engaged in online music activities. In the past three months, one-third listened to music on a social networking site, 41% listened to online radio (compared with 22% of all web users), and 39% watched a music video online (vs. 25% of all Web users).

Moreover, Twitter users were twice as likely than average Web users to visit MySpace Music and Pandora.

"NPD's latest music-acquisition study shows that there are segments of consumers who are more actively integrating Twitter as a key tool for communicating and networking," said Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for NPD. "Based on their music-purchasing history, active Twitter users are simply worth more to record labels and music retailers than those who are not using Twitter."

Crupnick also noted that Twitter has the potential to foster the discovery of new music, and improve targeted marketing of music to groups of highly-involved consumers, but only if used cautiously and judiciously. "There must be a careful balance struck between entertainment and direct conversation on one hand, and marketing on the other," he said.

About the research: NPD's "Music Acquisition Monitor" measures all forms of music acquisition activity (both digital and physical) as well as volume. It is based on nearly 4,000 survey completions by NPD's panelists on a quarterly basis. Data is weighted and projected to be representative of the US internet population ages 13+.

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