Nov 06 2019
While many still think of young consumers as perpetually plugged in and living their lives online, we know how much they value experiences. As we explored in And We’re Live, three-quarters of 13-37-year-olds tell us they would rather spend their money on experiences than products, which has bolstered the growth of the booming experience economy. A recent report from Eventbrite found that nine out of 10 18-34-year-olds have attended at least one live event within the past 12 months, which is up significantly from three years ago when just 82% had. Now, Greenlight Insights predicts that IRL, location-based experiences will become a $12 billion dollar industry by 2023. And in our recent spending and finance monitor, we found that 36% of 19-37-year-olds are spending money on events and experiences every month.
Driving this growth is the general malaise Millennials and Gen Z feel about the incessant presence of smartphones, social media, and other devices/services taking up their time and attention. As we found in our trend Unplugged, young consumers are questioning just how much of their lives tech is occupying and are trying to, well, unplug. According to Eventbrite, nearly 80% of Millennials say that attending live events makes them feel more connected to other people, the community, and the world. Three-quarters also say that say live events help them gain perspective beyond what they read online and help them make more of an impact, too.
While young consumers’ taste for real-life moments is driving brands to serve up interactive experiences of all stripes (often with a side of sharable social moments), no live even quite captures the Millennial and Gen Z heart like an event centered around music. Young consumers are almost always plugged in and listening to music. In our recent music survey, more than six in seven 13-37-year-olds told us music is an important part of their lives, and the majority said they listen to music all day long and are using tunes to alter their mood. In fact, music is their top offline hobby (and has been for a few years running). But while we know they’re passionate about music, there is a lot of competition for their event and experience spending. So how many are actually buying concert tickets? Here are four stats from our recent music survey that show us how 13-37-year-olds are engaging with live music today:
Forget the trope of young people staying home to watch TV: 74% of 13-37-year-olds tell us they like seeing live music, and 54% tell us they attend live music concerts or festivals at least once a year. According to Nielsen, about 32 million people attend at least one music festival in the U.S. every year, and about half are Millennials. In fact, Eventbrite research shows that 29% of Millennials have attended a music festival in the last 12 months, compared to only 17% in 2014. That said, the growth of this market is heavily driven by Millennials, with Gen Z less enthused. While 79% of 19-37-year-olds telling us they like attending live music events, just 58% of 13-18-year-olds said the same. In fact, the trend seems to be driven by the older cohorts: the highest level of interest comes from 30-34-year olds (82%) as well as parents (83%) and, in particular, dads (86%). This might not speak to pure interest, however. The divide could have something to do with money…
When we ask young consumers what music content and experiences they’re spending on, 36% say they have bought a concert ticket in the last year. In fact, more have spent on concert tickets than have paid for music downloads or artist merchandise. Millennials, with more disposable income and freedom, are more likely to be buying concert tickets than Gen Z: just 15% of 13-18-year-olds spent money on a concert ticket this year, compared to 42% of 19-37-year-olds have. However, it’s important to note that far more young consumers say they like to go to live music events than are actually buying tickets for them. And that could have something to do with the fact that…
According to Bloomberg, prices for concert tickets have skyrocketed in recent years, far outpacing inflation. The average price of a ticket to the 100 most popular tours in North America has almost quadrupled over the past two decades, from $25.81 in 1996 to $91.86 in the first half of this year. Bloomberg reports that third-party ticket sellers such as Ticketmaster and StubHub have something to do with it—by showing that fans were willing to pay a lot more for tickets, those putting on the concerts starting charging more from the get-go, creating a snowball effect that has landed us at a nearly $100-per-ticket average. For many young consumers, that’s just not feasible, regardless of how much they love swaying in a like-minded crowd. For those fans, though, there is a new way to enjoy concerts…
Over half of 13-37-year-olds are so committed to catching their favorite acts that they’ll opt to watch the live stream instead of seeing them in person. It’s not just music though—live streaming is becoming a vastly popular form of content among young consumers. Almost seven in ten 13-37-year-olds tell us they’re streaming live video online at least monthly, and over two in five say they’re watching up to an hour of this type of content every day. When we asked exactly what type of live content they’re watching, their top five answers were sports, awards shows, news, gaming, and concerts or festivals. Look no further than the success of Coachella’s live stream for proof: while the event was able to draw in 100,000 attendees per each day of its six-day event, and their Snapchat Live Story drew in 40 million. According to Eventbrite, the reason for this may be more than simply an inability to attend the actual event—for young consumers, it could be a form of dipping their toes in the water before jumping in. The company reports that 67% of live video viewers are more likely to buy a ticket to a concert or event after watching a live video of that event or a similar one. And for annual events like music festivals, 30% who watch a live stream will attend that same event the following year.
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