Chart and Graph from Label Networks’ Music and Youth Culture Profile Report 2009

At the end of 2008, Label Networks launched a Music and Youth Culture Profile Report consumer survey towards understanding the changing tide of youth culture preferences when it comes to live music experiences. Since many brands sponsor music events and up-and-coming musicians, and the season is fast upon us, we felt it was important to quantify what’s working best now for a new generation of music lovers. Overall, what once worked or was considered the key location and format for live music -big arena concerts–has changed drastically with the changing tides of the economy, types of bands, and festival opportunities for young people.

For example, in Western Europe, the summer festivals continue to be a strong format that works well for reaching youth culture markets. However the need for underage festivals continues to be a growing market opportunity that has not yet been saturated by sponsors and music producers. This is often noted in our European Youth Culture Studies.

In North America, among 13-25-year-olds, when asked “Which type of concerts do you prefer to attend?” while in the past Arena Concerts with major acts were considered the best and most desirable for live performances, there’s been a growing trend towards preferences for more intimate Club/Theater Concerts, followed by Big multi-band music festivals. In our data, 48.8% of 13-25-year-olds prefer to see musicians at Club/Theater Concerts, followed by 39.4% who prefer Big multi-band festivals, and only now 11.7% preferring Arena concerts. This marks an important shift in that today’s generation continues to want to be closer to their musical idols (and one reason why band autograph signings attract fans to sponsor booths that host them).

By gender, one of the greatest differences are that 51.3% of females prefer Club/Theater Concerts compared with 40.7% of males, indicating an extremely strong market for smaller venues among women music-goers.

However by age groups, there are even more interesting discoveries. The older the demographic, the higher the percentages who love Club/Theater Concerts, peaking among 21-25-year-olds at 61.6% compared with 38.2% of 13-14-year-olds. However Big multi-band festivals peak as a favorite among 15-17-year-olds at 43.6% followed by 13-14-year-olds at 41.4%.

Overall, what this indicates for sponsors and brands interested in sponsoring live music events, which is an important component to any grassroots marketing or advertising campaign, is that depending on your target market, there are various venues and formats that make the most sense. In general, Arena Concerts are not the preferred location whereas Club/Theater Concerts are, especially for females and 21-25-year-olds, whereas Big multi-based music festivals are preferred among 15-17-year-olds across the board.

For more information about Label Networks’ Music Youth Culture Profile Report, email; (323) 630-4000.