Business Matters: Twitter Not A Common Activity After Music Discovery
Business Matters: Twitter Not A Common Activity After Music Discovery

Twitter Not A Common Activity After Music Discovery
-- Twitter gets tens of millions of U.S. visitors each month -- 32.3 million in September, according to comScore -- but not many of them are following up on a new artist or song they just discovered.

One of the most interesting aspects of the new NPD/NARM survey on music discovery is the small role Twitter plays in how people follow up discovering music they like. Upon reflection, it's not too surprising that music fans don't go to Twitter to learn more about a song or artist. After all, YouTube, artist websites and social network pages have biographical information and streaming media while Twitter has short text messages. But at least there is now some data to back up that common sense thinking.

Only 2.2 percent of people surveyed said they have checked a Twitter feed after hearing a song they were interested in, NPD Group's Russ Crupnick tells Billboard.biz. As a way to follow up discovery, Twitter falls well behind other activities such as streaming the video (19 percent), buying the download (14 percent) and waiting to hear the song on the radio (12 percent).

Not even the most avid music consumers frequently engage Twitter as a common post-discovery activity. Just 12 percent of the top segment of music consumers -- also the youngest of the groups in NPD's study -- said they have went to an artist's Twitter page after discovery. This top group of music consumers is small but valuable: it accounts for 10 percent of active music consumers and 46 percent of per-capita spending.

"That 12 percent may sound high but it's not very compared to all the other things they do," explains Crupnick via email. He notes that 23 percent of "committed" consumers read a print review and 35 percent visit an artist page on a social network after discovery music of interest.

Crupnick points to the obvious gap between the popularity of Twitter as a communication tool and its lack of effectiveness in furthering music discovery. "Perhaps what this is saying is that Twitter plays a bigger role in ongoing artist engagement and fanship than it does in discovery."

And perhaps there is a lesson here for Twitter. If the service wants to take advantage of music consumers' post-discovery interest, it needs more than plain text.

CD Baby Sweetens the Deal For Clients
-- CD Baby is encouraging its clients to encourage their fans to buy downloads directly from CD Baby rather than through digital retailers. The carrot is a higher payout for CDBaby.com sales than artists will get elsewhere: artists will receive 75 percent of the sale price from a track or album download.

Digital Audio Insider explains how the numbers work out: "For comparison purposes, iTunes pays out 70 cents on a 99-cent download. CD Baby artists pay a 9 percent commission for digital sales, leaving them with a 63.7 cent payout for the download. The math is even better for CD Baby when it sells downloads directly, as opposed to collecting a cut on sales via iTunes or other digital stores. A 25 percent cut of 99-cents is almost four times the 9 percent commission on 70 cents, though in this case CD Baby also has to pay any credit card transaction fees."
(CD Baby blog, via Digital Audio Insider)

Shocking: College Paper Encourages Buying Music
-- College kids don't buy music and couldn't care less about copyright? Check this blurb from an article from the Daily Wildcat, the student paper of the University of Arizona. It's not the sort of sentiment one was likely to run across in a college newspaper five or six years ago when individuals were being sued for copyright infringement and campus administrators were under fire for piracy on their networks.

"As college music lovers who spend an equal amount of time listening to music as we do breathing, we should try our best to resist the temptation of downloading leaked music. Music motivates, comforts and parties with us, ultimately making every aspect of life that much better. Spending $13.99 on the album is much more than obeying the law; it is acting as a true fan of artists and music in general."
(Daily Wildcat)