Streaming services and live events provide brands with an attractive opportunity for engaging fans. Those are two of the big takeaways from the new 2013 Music 360 report from Nielsen. The latest version of Nielsen's annual report is the result of nearly 2,600 online surveys with consumers in the United States. 
About three in four (74%) music streamers feel more favorable to brands that engage them through sweepstakes, music giveaways and sponsorships, compared to 58% of non-streamers, according to the report. In addition, music streamers feel more favorable than non-streamers about brands that integrate music into their marketing. Over two-thirds (68%) of U.S. consumers have used an audio streaming service, up 40% from the prior year.
Nielsen also found evidence that live events are a good place for sponsorship dollars. Fifty-one percent of U.S. consumers and 76% of festival attendees feel more favorable to brands that sponsor a tour or concert.
Event marketing provides a good opportunity to tap into consumers' passions, says Marcie Allen, president of MAC Presents. She believes consumers have become savvy about advertising and react positively to the experiential marketing afforded by live events, "When it's a tour or festival, consumers want to touch, feel and experience the brand in an authentic and organic way."
The survey's findings are good news for digital music services, promoters and venues seeking to capture a larger share of brands' spending. The North American sponsorship market is estimated to be $19.9 billion this year, according to IEG, with entertainment -- including music -- accounting for $2.03 billion. Sports is the runaway leader in North America sponsorship dollars with $13.79 billion this year and a 69% share of total sponsorship spending.
Not only are music streamers more receptive to brand engagement, they are simply more engaged with music. Music streamers reported spending 54% more on recorded music than non-streamers. In addition, streamers have a greater capacity to spend more: 54% of paid streamers, 37% of free streamers and 29% of non-streamers report being able to spend more on music than they do today.
Of course, that music streamers have greater engagement with music comes as no surprise. It stands to reason that a person that pursues an affinity for music through readily available digital platforms -- Pandora, YouTube, SoundCloud -- is more engaged than people who don't stream music. A similar correlation can be seen in music piracy. Numerous surveys have indicated that people that obtain music through illegal download sites spend more on music purchases than people that use such sites. 

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