Survey Finds Music Consumption Is Shifting From Function To Fun As Reopening Accelerates.


American life is slowly returning to normal, and when it comes to media consumption that could mean changes in how entertainment sources rate. MRC Data says its latest survey – the tenth in a series during the pandemic – finds that as COVID concerns decrease, there is less reliance on a spectrum of entertainment sources. Ten percent fewer Americans say they would “go crazy” without entertainment, nearly the same as the 12% drop in the number of people who are worried about catching the virus.


The reasons people are switching on the radio or television is also evolving. A majority (57%) now say they use entertainment sources as a way to relax or unwind. And compared to the previous survey conducted in early January, the number using media as a way to stay informed or educate themselves is down by 30%.


For radio stations and other music sources, MRC Data says there is less of a “functional purpose” to music consumption. The number that use playlists for working from home has dropped five percent since the start of the year. And there are also five percent fewer people looking for calming music for meditation.


When it comes to deciding which music to stream, those surveyed said their top motivator is the music artist – not a specific song or genre. And six in ten said they are likely to watch the same artist performance more than once.


Among some of the other results from Wave 10 is “movie night” still means staying home. Three-quarters (76%) say they stream movies compared to 18% that go to the theater. That is unlikely to change in the near-term. MRC Data says most people said they would not go to a movie theater until COVID conditions improve and only if safety precautions are in place.


Even so, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings conceded their subscriber numbers are “a little wobbly right now” during last month’s earnings call with investors. The company added four million subscribers worldwide during the first quarter, which was fewer than its forecast of six million.


MRC Data is a data and analytics provider to the music business and consumers. Its Wave 10 report is based on interviews with a representative sample of 1,056 Americans aged 13 and older. The survey was conducted April 5-16, 2021.

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