NPD: Twitterers Buy More Music

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If microblogging service Twitter needed another shot in the arm (after becoming a surprising conduit of information about about unrest in Iran and being the service-of-the-moment for U.S. mass media coverage), the service got another boost today: research firm NPD says that Twitter users buy some 77 percent more digital music than average Web users. In other words, Twitter users represent an engaged online audience willing to spend money…and if nothing else makes online businesses flock to Twitter, that will.

“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 NPD entertainment industry analyst Russ Crupnick, in a statement. “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.”

The numbers are based on NPD’s Music Acquisition Monitor, a quarterly survey of digital and physical music buying habits, based on responses from nearly 4,000 NPD panelists. NPD found that some 12 percent of music buyers claimed to have used Twitter in the last three months, compared to just 8 percent of general Web users. What’s more, a full third of Twitter users surveyed reported buying a CD in the last three months, while slightly more (34 percent) claimed to have purchased a digital download—those numbers are significantly higher than the same purchase activities for regular Web users, which stood at 23 percent and 16 percent, respectively, for the same period. One third of Twitter users reported listening to music on social networking sites, 41 percent listened to online radio, and 39 percent watched music videos online.

NPD also found the Twitter users are more highly engaged than users of online music services like Pandora and MySpace Music; they also claim that Twitter users spent more on an average music purchase than non-Twitterers.

The survey may spur more mainstream businesses—particularly the music and media industries—to engage in customers via Twitter to spur interest and drive sales. And, fortunately, the way Twitter works, folks who aren’t interested need never see any of this activity taking place.