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The NPD Group: Twitter Users More Engaged with Music -- and More Likely to Pay for It

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People on Twitter purchased 77 percent more digital music downloads, on average, than non-tweeting Web users

Port Washington, NY, June 23, 2009 – According to a recent report by The NPD Group, a leading market research company, awareness of Twitter more than doubled in the first quarter of 2009 reaching a 52 percent awareness level among the U.S. Internet-using population, which increased from 22 percent awareness in the fourth quarter of 2008. Among music buyers, awareness of Twitter reached 67 percent in the first quarter. In addition 12 percent of music buyers claimed to have used Twitter in the past three months, versus 8 percent of Web users overall.

“NPD’s latest music-acquisition study shows that there are segments of consumers who are more actively integrating Twitter as a key tool for communicating and networking,” said Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for NPD. “Based on their music-purchasing history, active Twitter users are simply worth more to record labels and music retailers than those who are not using Twitter.”

According to NPD’s consumer tracking, 33 percent of Twitter users reported buying a CD in the prior three months, and 34 percent claimed to have purchased a digital download, which compares positively to overall Web users (at 23 percent and 16 percent, respectively). When Twitter users purchased music, they also spent more money than did their non-Twitter counterparts. In fact people on Twitter purchased 77 percent more digital downloads, on average, than those who were not using Twitter.

Twitter users are also much more likely than average Web users to be engaged in online music activities -- one-third listened to music on a social networking site, 41 percent listened to online radio (compared to 22 percent among all Web users), and 39 percent watched a music video online (versus 25 percent among all Web users). Twitter users were also twice as likely than average Web users to visit MySpace Music and Pandora.

“Twitter has the potential to help foster the discovery of new music, and improve targeted marketing of music to groups of highly-involved and technologically savvy consumers, but it has to be done right,” Crupnick said. “There must be a careful balance struck between entertainment and direct conversation on one hand, and marketing on the other. Used properly Twitter has the power to entertain -- and to motivate music fans to purchase more new albums, downloads, merchandise, and concert tickets.”

Data note: NPD’s “Music Acquisition Monitor” measures all forms of music acquisition activity (both digital and physical) as well as volume. It is based on nearly 4,000 survey completions by NPD’s panelists on a quarterly basis. Data is weighted and projected to be representative of the U.S. Internet population age 13 and older.


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