One of the aspects I’m working on my dissertation covers the categories or roles in which music consumers can be classified. The goal here is to come up with a scientific sustained categorization/profiling of music users.
I’ve been looking for articles which are able to help me in this task and found some for which I’ll reviewing their main points here.
“Live and prerecorded popular music consumption” – Montoro and Cuadrado analyzed the profile of the popular music consumer, considering both live and prerecorded popular music, having profiled the average and frequent music consumer. Furthermore, they have tested hypotheses regarding the impact of the internet and file sharing on popular music consumption and the potential substitution and social motives for attendance of live show. Links between both markets were taken into consideration, and direct causal links were observed.
Gender, age and the impact of active practice and cultural participation were variables which have shown similarities between both profiles. The distinctive determinants of consumption were time constraints for live attendance for frequent consumers, and available income for both profiles.
The demand for popular music of some frequent consumers is more of a demand for information, while for the rest, other aspects like the social motivation, seem to have a more important role in it. This shows differences between profiles regarding to the potential substitution effect between live and prerecorded music.
Frequent consumers show a common disposition to music, either live or prerecorded, being catered for by both markets. This supports the “substitutability relationship between live and prerecorded music for frequent consumers”. On the contrary, average consumers are moved either to one market or the other, in an heterogeneous fashion; “once we account for direct links between both markets and for all the covariates, the average consumer is either a consumer of live or prerecorded music.”
A causal link between both markets was observed, with prerecorded music consumption increasing the probability of live concerts attendance, with stronger incidence on frequent users. Live concerts attendance showed no significant affectance on prerecorded music consumption.
The exposition to file-sharing networks showed an increase of live attendance for average users, rather than for frequent users. A negative impact was observed on the prerecorded music market by the use of the internet and file-sharing, although weaker for the frequent consumer. For the latter case, the origin of the prerecorded music was considered, either by legal acquisition, copy or internet download was considered.
Several conclusions can be taken regarding the evolution of the music business. Despite that, in the past, the prerecorded sector has subsidized the live sector, things have evolved in the opposite way. Nowadays, live shows support prerecord music sales, which is consistent with the rise of prices in live shows, with artists giving away recorded music in concerts and through the internet. This also explains and supports and the positioning and market strategies that labels are adopting with the all-inclusive contracts that cover not only prerecorded music sales, but also management, concert, merchandise and endorsement revenues.
Interestingly, the authors claim that, the fact that different agents in the music business sustain different activities, such as labels and concert promoters, leads to the under provisioning of these activities like promotion; otherwise, the internalization of all the generated effects in one entity would lead to optimal outcomes.