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Teosto and IFPI researched music listening habits and the creation of stars


The fate of a new artist is decided by a lonely teenager wearing headphones

Presentation of the results >>

According to a survey completed by Teosto and IFPI Finland in August 2018, most new music becomes popular through an audience of under 20-year-olds. Even though young Finns are constantly on their phones, music is, however, not shared much: the public ready-made playlists guide youth’s listening more than recommendations from friends.

The roles of Spotify and YouTube are particularly dominating in increasing awareness and popularity of foreign artists. Domestic artists can get their breakthrough also through radio and traditional and social media. For example, of the new domestic artists who have become popular this year, Lukas Leon was promoted by Cheek’s tour and Instagram, while Vesta received new followers through interviews in different media. 

Young people in secondary schools are drawn by stardom and beats, late teens by someone relatable who speaks to them

Impressive style, good beats and a star personality appeal to music listeners under 15 years old.  As an artist’s appearance is particularly significant, the role of music videos on YouTube is highlighted.

Of all life stages, the significance of music is most important to 16–18-year-olds: the relationship with music becomes more personal and youth look to artists for relatability. The listened-to music becomes more versatile and the significance of Spotify as a place to discover music peaks in this age group. Instead of going to gigs to get to know new artists, they go see artists whose quality they have ensured online beforehand. The majority still have a quite uncomplicated taste in music and prefer catchy songs.

Music is used to create privacy and space to be alone and to separate oneself from the surrounding environment. In Europe’s most introverted country, the relationship with music is more of a personal than social matter.

Radio works best for older listeners and performers who have already secured their place

The internet is the leading place for new artists to be discovered and become popular among an audience of under 30-year-olds; after this, radio takes the lead. Even so, YouTube and Spotify are the second most important way to discover new artists for over 50-year-olds. For 70-year-olds, live concerts are clearly in second place after the radio.

All age groups considered, radio is still the superior way to listen to music: it reaches 75% of Finns daily. 

Radio is the most important method to reach new listeners for artists who already have a stable position.  Those who were able to increase their supporter base with radio in 2018 include Ellinoora, Elias Kaskinen and Haloo Helsinki!, who is rather popular even among retirees!

The older the music listener is, the more important it is for the artist to have a personal touch and the ability to interpret lyrics in a manner that speaks to the listener. More than other age groups, older listeners also want the music to challenge them and require several times of listening.

In all age groups, an artist is more successful if they can separate themselves from the rest and bring something new to the current music selection.

Already four million Finns listen to music on their phone

All other listening devices have lost some of their share to the phone. Almost four million Finns have used their phone to listen to music this year. Approximately two and a half million Finns listen to music on their phone weekly. Under 25-year-olds listen to music outside as they go about their day, while older people listen to music in the car and at home.

Approximately one million Finns bought physical recordings during the past year. However, listening to CDs is quickly decreasing, and fashionable vinyls are just a mini trend in a small marginal group. 

The year 2018 will go down in history as the year when Spotify passed CDs even in their last haven, i.e. the car.

The land of a thousand slow songs?

Contrary to the old stereotype, Finnish music listeners do not consider Finnish music that melancholic anymore, but all age groups find it has a significantly slower tempo than foreign music. All in all Finnish music is not considered anymore to differ that much from foreign music.

Teenagers listen to foreign music somewhat more than domestic, but domestic music has a steady number of supporters in all age groups: more than 30% of all respondents discovered at least one new domestic artist they were interested in during the past year.

Music styles evolve with age, roughly from rap to pop to rock and, finally, schlager. Right now, the most popular artist path from primary school to a mature retiree is CheekAntti TuiskuApulantaEppu NormaaliJuha TapioKatri Helena

In all age groups, the foreign artist who currently enjoys the steadiest awareness is Abba, who is experiencing renewed interest thanks to the Mamma Mia movies.

Teosto and IFPI Finland carry out an annual survey to research changes in Finns’ music listening habits. The research was implemented using Norstat’s survey panel in August 2018 and used a representative sample of the population with 1,010 respondents. The key findings were weighted to correspond to the demographic of all 13–75-year-old Finnish men and women. A larger than normal sampling of 13–15 and 16–18-year-old respondents participated in the study.

Further information:
Kari Tervonen
Business Analysis Director, Dingle

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