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More Americans (13+) discover music by listening to AM/FM radio (49%) than by any other means, says Nielsen in a new report [download page]. In fact, more Americans are finding music through various radio sources than did last year, with online sources not surprisingly growing in influence.

This year, almost one-quarter (23%) of survey respondents reported discovering music via AM/FM radio online, up from 19% last year. Some 14% said they found new music through satellite radio, up from 11%.

These are likely reflections of listening trends: AM/FM radio consumption continues to be strong, even as online radio and podcast audiences grow.

Discover the demographic composition of AM/FM radio and internet radio listeners.

Meanwhile, more than one-quarter are discovering music through online services – with that figure likely higher among youth. Social media – which has emerged as a strong source of video content discovery for younger Americans – is a music discovery vehicle for one-quarter of respondents ages 13 and older.

Friends and relatives play a greater role in both music and video discovery – as the inspiration for 4 in 10 respondents to Nielsen’s survey.

Fans Stay Engaged Using Social Media

While social media isn’t yet a leading way by which listeners find new music, it has a significant role to play in keeping fans engaged with their favorite artists.

In fact, some 55% of all music listeners use social to follow or stay informed about the musicians that they like, according to Nielsen’s report.

As such, the type of social media content that appeals to music fans ranges from upcoming album news (54%) and tour news/dates (50%) to behind the scenes looks at an artist’s life (48%).

New Fad: Playlisting

The mixtape isn’t dead! It’s just been replaced by something else: playlisting.

In fact, among those who stream music online, half self-curate playlists, while 35% use public playlists based on genres or moods. Overall, three-quarters of Americans who stream music online playlist, per the report.

Nielsen also notes that 38% agree that playlists are an important part of their streaming experience, and that 44% love creating their own playlists when using streaming services. As the analysts note, “selecting tracks and crafting playlists has become an activity in its own right.”

More data from the report can be accessed here.

About the Data: The data is based on an online survey conducted in August 2017 among 3,000 Gen Pop consumers ages 13 and older.

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