Are you a 'Plugged Indie' or a 'Tag-Along'? Bandsintown survey breaks down concert-goer types.
Facebook concert discovery app Bandsintown, which claims to power tour listings for 100,000-plus acts and track even more, commissioned Insight Strategy Group to conduct a survey that turned up some intriguing results regarding live music fans and their idiosyncrasies.
"We were interested in learning how people hear about concerts, and were quite surprised [by the results]," says Julien Mitelberg, CEO of Bandsintown's parent company, Cellfish. "Today, people hear about concerts by receiving information, not going to look for information. They expect to get information from Twitter, the artist's Facebook account, an e-mail from Ticketmaster or any other thing they subscribe to, [with] Facebook being the No. 1 place."
Mitelberg says Google search trends for concerts are decreasing because of this change. "That's great, because that's exactly how Bandsintown works," he says. "We help artists make sure fans will never miss knowing about a show, whether we are sending information via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail."
Not surprisingly, the main drivers for consumers going to concerts are the social and musical experiences. The survey breaks down fans into five segments, from most to least engaged, with descriptive names for each segment.
On the least-engaged end are the Soloists, making up 26% of those surveyed. Soloists know the music, but are less social and hate crowds, so they don't go to many big concerts. Also less engaged are the Dedicated Diehards (19%), who are passionate about music but go to fewer shows. Diehards are, however, willing to pay more on average for concert tickets.
More engaged are the Plugged Indies (15%), who are very knowledgeable about music but also enjoy concerts' social aspects. As the name suggests, they tend to favor indie music. Super Fans (20%), on the other hand, are heavily invested in music and knowledgeable about their favorite acts, but their tastes skew more mainstream. Then there are the Tag-Alongs (22%), who aren't as informed but go to shows with friends or dates and rarely on their own initiative. (The percentages don't equal 100 due to rounding.)
If 20% of concert-goers are Super Fans, that seems like a healthy number. "Super Fans go to more shows, spend more on tickets and buy tickets way in advance," Mitelberg says. "They are the leaders, and they bring their friends to concerts."
There's plenty of interesting data here: Super Fans are 56% female, make the most money, see the most shows (16 per year) and spend the most on tickets. Ninety-six percent of them say they're "always actively seeking out new music," and 79% think they know who's going to be a big star before others. Super Fans are mostly pop fans, have a "thriving social life" and believe they're trendsetters. And, listen up, bundlers: 92% are "willing to pay extra for a better concert-going experience." The desire for VIP status extends to Plugged Indies (84%) and Dedicated Diehards (88%), all willing to pay more for a better experience.
Plugged Indies are 56% male and see 13 shows annually. Tag-Alongs are 67% female and see only six per year, while Soloists are 59% male and spend the least on tickets. Dedicated Diehards are 61% female.
Among the Plugged Indies, 84% consider their musical tastes "more offbeat/less popular than most people's." Almost all of them (94%) prefer small venues.
In the affirmation department, 99% of Dedicated Diehards believe concerts are "an experience unlike any other," yet only 24% claim to be the first to discover bands. Maybe they're more self-aware than the Super Fans.
Predictably, Super Fans and Dedicated Diehards spend the most on tickets, but the Plugged-Indies go to more shows in smaller venues. This supports conventional wisdom that fans are less likely to experiment if the tickets are expensive.
Among Super Fans and Plugged Indies, Facebook posts, artists' updates and email blasts from event sites and ticket providers motivate fans to go to concerts most frequently. Perhaps the major point of the study is this: Fans learn about concerts from "push" sources more than those that "pull," especially Facebook and e-mail.