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The Digitally Native Music Consumer

Posted on 24th July, 2014 by Mark Mulligan

MIDiA Research has published a new report looking at the music attitudes and behavior of Digital Natives.  The report  “The Digitally Native Music Consumer: A Digital Native Music Behaviour Deep Dive” is immediately available to MIDiA Research clients along with an entire data set and presentation.  To find out more about how to become a MIDiA Research client click here.

Here are some of the key findings of the report:

Natives and Immigrants demarcate the digital world. While Digital Immigrants bear the baggage of their analogue era past, Digital Natives have only ever know ubiquitous connectivity and content availability. Consequently the digital music behaviour of Digital Natives evolves at a dramatic pace and markedly over indexes against the Digital Immigrants. While the slow down in digital revenue growth revolves around spending transition of high spending Digital Immigrants, it is the attitudes and behaviour of the Natives that give us the best indication of how the digital music market will evolve.  

Digital Native music behaviour is evolving at a far faster rate than music industry product strategy.  Some of the key behaviours are:

Online music video and radio are the two most widespread music activities for Digital Natives, both with 69% penetration. 
With 52% penetration, streaming is the digital music zeitgeist for Digital Natives. 
Digital Natives differ from other consumers most in free music activity. 
P2P adoption is widespread but it is a new wave of piracy technologies, such as free music downloader apps and YouTube rippers that appeal most to Digital Natives. 
Free music downloader apps are most widely adopted by Brazilian Digital Natives – with 48% penetration - whereas YouTube is popular across all markets. 
Music matters to Digital Natives, with 85% stating music is an important part of their life. 
A third of Digital Natives say they do not need to pay for streaming music because they get all they need from YouTube for free. 

Key Characteristics of Digital Native Music Consumers 


Previous comments

  • Remi Swierczek commented

    Music industry have overslept monetization oportunities. Your digital natives are just natural product of past and ongoing ignorance at labels. UMG being the leading driver to selfdistractive business models and partnerships needs to wake up - they still have enough resources to come out of coma.

    Music can be locked up tomorrow and all Radio and streamers can becomme simple music stores. Google, drunk with advertising cash can be the only opponent of new way. New fair use act would also stop Google from being the bigest compactor of dollars in music to cents in advertising.

  • Aram Sinnreich commented

    Aspirin-guy FTW! Same graphic we used back in Jupiter days.

  • Nick commented

    I'm curious if this study took into account the general spending behaviors of kids and how they evolve as they grow up, in a general sense. IE, a kid will always take the free option because they don't have disposable income, but when they grow up, they will have disposable income so their behavior will change. To illustrate, a "digital immigrant" who is 35 will happily pay for Spotify so that they can have higher quality music in a more convenient package, however, a "digital native" who is 17 will happily take the lower quality and less convenient YouTube stream because it is free. in this scenario, it has nothing to do with being an "immigrant" or a "native" - it's simply that one user has money and is willing to pay for quality and convenience, whereas the other does not have money and will do whatever they have to do to access the music they want.

  • Tyrus Dunn commented

    Okay so I signed on through an rss feed to get information about the music industry and stumbled on to a blog that reads like a peer reviewed journal and as far as I know it is one. If it is its not for me. I'm new here so I have no idea what a native or immigrant digital user is. I assume they are just different names for young and old people respectively. The information presented seems to correlate perfectly with current trends and I assume was presented to imply the eminent demise of the traditional music model without explicitly saying it. As was stated in the blog post, music is still popular and I can confidently predict this will never change so there will always be opportunities for people to make money off of music. Nick it is possible that as kids become older they will change their habits and start buying their music, but I doubt if this trend will ever change. Kids have come to believe that music should be free and time won't change this for those who have always gotten their music for free. I am 36 years old and downloaded my first album 13 years ago. I believe I may have bought maybe 10 cds in all of those years and that was only because I felt compelled to support my favorite artists. I still don't pay for music yet my ipod has 1000s of songs and when I don't have my ipod I listen to Pandora from anywhere on my phone. You may have a point about the quality issue, but I make and mix music and can't tell the difference between a 320kb mp3 and a wav file. I don't see people paying for music, but I can definitely see music lovers attending concerts of people they may have stolen music from. And with the current model why would the artist care anyway if you stole their music, the odds are they were never going to recoup anyway.

  • vic commented

    Accessing music everywhere and anytime...but are we really getting the right figures when we know the high-rate of third party music downloads on the net.