Most Americans Recognize Familiar Songs in Ads

August 2, 2022

About 1 in 7 (14% of) US adults often hear familiar songs used in commercials featuring products/brands that they use, while 1 in 5 (20%) often hear familiar songs used in commercials in general, according to an Ipsos report [pdf]. All told, 62% of respondents at least sometimes hear familiar songs in ads featuring products/brands they use, and 7 in 10 in ads in general.

As Ipsos puts it, “Americans have high recall of familiar songs in ads.” Previous research has found Black Americans saying that including music that relates to their ethnic/racial group would help capture their attention when it comes to advertising.

The Ipsos study indicates that Americans feel a strong connection to music and bands. In fact, virtually all (94% of) respondents report spending at least some time listening to music each week, and a slight majority (54%) attend at least one concert each year. Moreover, roughly 7 in 10 (69%) say music is important to their identity, and 61% say it’s important to their culture.

Youth in particular are quite invested in music: almost 1 in 4 (23% of) Millennials say they spend more than 20 hours a week listening to music, as do almost 1 in 5 (19% of) Gen Z adults. Moreover, an above-average share of Millennials (69%) say they attend at least one concert a year, while 7 in 10 Gen Z and Millennial adults value feeling connected to bands and artists they love, compared to 55% of adults overall.

More than half (53%) of the adults surveyed also say they value discovering new bands and artists. How they go about this varies by age: while radio is the top way that Baby Boomers and Senior discover new or different music, Gen Zers and Millennials rely most on social media and their friends. This divergence has been found in other research, which has also revealed the importance of music apps in youths’ music discovery.

In other highlights from the Ipsos report:

  • Almost half (47%) of American adults say that music is very important for their mental health, topping the 43% who say it’s very important for their entertainment.
  • Respondents across all age groups would expect to pay less to attend a concert in virtual reality or the metaverse as they would for an in-person concert.
  • Three-quarters feel that virtual concerts will never be worth the price of live concerts, as opposed to 25% who feel they will.
  • Almost 3 in 4 (73% share) believe that virtual concerts will never be as entertaining as live concerts, versus 27% who believe they can provide just as much entertainment.
  • 6 in 10 prefer to listen to the music they already know and love, versus 4 in 10 who more value discovering new music, bands, and artists.
  • Some 65% say that appreciating music does not require a connection to the artist/band, while 35% feel that it’s important to feel connected to the artists and bands they love.

For more, check out the report here [pdf].

About the Data: The results are based on a May survey of 2,046 US adults (18+).

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