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1992 - 1996 - Music Genre By Age
Teen spirit is a myth. Though the power of young buyers cannot beignored, consumers 20 and older are simply spending more money on music.There have been significant gains in the Pop music listenership amongthe 35 and over crowd - tracking aging baby boomers. R&B is expandingtoo. Even Rock listeners, described in the past as teenage and hip,now reflect the overall maturing of the population and change in theconsumer base.

METHODOLOGY: The annual consumer profile, which is the primary focus of the RIAA "Top Ten Fact Book," is compiled by Chilton Research Services from a monthly national telephone survey. (Chilton surveys 3,051 music buyers each year.) Data from the monthly survey, tabulated annually and semi-annually, is weighted by age and sex, and then projected to reflect the U.S. population age 10-and-over. The reliability of the data is +/-1.7% at a 95% confidence level.

BACKGROUND: The following are highlights from the 1996 Consumer Profile:

Configuration: There is little surprise that CDs continue to dominate the other full-length formats with well-over two thirds of the marketplace (68.4%). Full-length cassettes continue in second place, experiencing a slowed decrease from the previous year. Cassettes held 19.3% of the market in 1996, down from 25.1% in 1995. While the cassette share has declined significantly in recent years, the format remains a cost-effective, portable alternative to the CD for a host of applications. In 1996, CD singles almost doubled their market share, growing from 2.6% to 4.2%. This growth is attributable to a number of factors including the addition of bonus tracks not found elsewhere, as well as a general reduction in price.

Outlet: With 49.9% of the market, record stores still have a clear lead as the outlet of choice. However, the "Other Store" category, which includes discount and consumer electronics stores, increased its market share in 1996 to 31.5%, up from last year's 28.1%.

Genre: While Rock and Country continue to reign as they have for at least the past five years, both these categories experienced a drop in market share last year (Rock and Country dropped from 33.5% to 32.6% and 16.7% to 14.7 % respectively), while a range of other genres, most notably Gospel, Jazz and Classical, grew in consumer popularity. In the case of Gospel music, which grew from 3.1% to 4.3 %, its increased popularity reflects a strong commitment on the part of a number of major record companies to market and merchandize Gospel -- and particularly Contemporary Christian Music -- more aggressively, and reflects growing public awareness of the range and depth of the genre. Rap music also did very well in 1996, increasing its market share from 6.7% to 8.9%.

With respect to genre, consumers were asked to classify their music purchases; they are not assigned a particular category by Chilton. The "Other" genre category includes Ethnic, Standards, Big Band, Swing, Spanish, Electronic, Instrumental, Comedy, Humor, Spoken Word, Exercise, Language, Folk, and Holiday Music.

Age: Spending by younger Americans remains predictably strong because of their passion for music. Of greater note are the baby-boomers. The 40 to 44 age bracket jumped from a meager 4.8% market share in 1987 to 9.1% in 1996. Similarly, consumers 45 and older commanded only 10.7% of the market 10 years ago compared to 15.1% last year.

Table ITable II

©1996 RIAA All Rights Reserved.


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