Radio still rules the roost: Most Americans disover music the old fashioned way

nielsen report says most americans discover music from radio car
Despite the fact that three quarters of Americans listen to music online in a given week, radio is still the king of new music discovery, says global information measuring company Nielsen.

Today, the company released its fourth annual Music 360, a survey of American music listeners that includes a slew of information regarding how people first access new music. Interesting stuff, considering the company claims that most Americans hear over 24 hours of music a week.

It’s tough to believe in 2015, but the majority of listeners, 61 percent, still report first hearing new bands through local AM/FM, or satellite radio. Interestingly, the report seems to suggest radio music discovery is actually increasing, showing a “7 percent increase over last year,” and a 10 percent increase over the 51 percent Nielsen reported in January. It appears, to many listeners, the old ways are still the best.

Despite radio still reigning supreme, streaming is very much on the rise. Coming on the heels of BMI’s report that internet-based music is generating more money than ever, Nielsen says that online users streamed 135 billion tracks in the first half of 2015, compared to 164 billion in all of 2014. Most of those plays were from free services, according to the data, and 78 percent of people say they are unlikely to use a paid streaming service in the next six months.

Record labels might be unhappy with this fact, considering that ad-based streaming services like Spotify and Pandora’s free tiers bring in less revenue, but venues and promoters are sitting pretty. In a music world that is becoming increasingly digital, the report notes that attendance of live events is actually up, and that listeners now spend over half of their annual musical expenditures attending live shows.

Attendance has been so high that there has been a 70 percent increase in the number of people who discover music in person in the past year, up to about 1-in-10 Americans.

It’s a lot of information to process, but it does give us a more nuanced portrait of the average modern listener.

So here’s what we know now: Typical American listeners are starting to listen to Spotify, and other services on their smartphones more often. They are willing to deal with ads in exchange for free listening, but they still find their favorite new bands listening to the radio in their cars before making their way to more live shows.


From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.

Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ becomes the most-streamed 20th-century song

Queen's iconic Bohemian Rhapsody has become the most-streamed 20th-century song. Knocking Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit off the top spot, the British band's 1975 classic has now been streamed 1.6 billion times globally.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

An acclaimed Apple analyst says the new AirPods are coming in 2019

Apple plans to release new AirPods much the same as it does new iPhones, and a wireless charging case, water resistance, and better Siri integration are among the improvements we can expect in future models.

You may soon be able to listen to your own songs on Spotify’s Android app

If you love Spotify's streaming, but also have a large collection of niche music, then it can be hard to marry your two passions. Thankfully, Spotify appears to be testing the ability to import local songs to its Android app.

Block out the sun and drown out the haters with Bose’s new AR sunglasses

Bose has announced its quirkiest listening device yet, a pair of headphone-integrated sunglasses that allow you to meander the brightest places with your favorite tunes in tow. Called the Frames, the glasses will sport 3.5 hours of battery.

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.
Home Theater

Spotify Wrapped reveals rad facts about your musical tastes and habits

The website may be a bit tough to find at first, but Spotify Wrapped tells you awesome facts about your year in listening. From how many minutes you spent jamming out to your top artists, and beyond, there's a lot to dig into.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.

From Paul McCartney to Mariah Carey, this is the best holiday music

Whether you're a fan of classic jazz standards or modern R&B masterpieces, there's something for everyone on our playlist of the best holiday music. Pour some eggnog and curl up by the fire, this one is sure to get you in the holiday…
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.

The best new music this week: Josh Homme, Domo Genesis, and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases just for you. On tap this week: Josh Homme, Domo Genesis, Eddie Palmieri, and Jacob Collier.