The Gaymonkey Survey - Part 1: Shopping

A few months ago we opened up a survey with a couple of simple questions. We wanted to get an idea of how our community prefers to find out about new music, to give us some insight to support the next phase of Gaymonkey's development.

This blog has been useful in hammering out new ideas on the music business. It is clear that the entire industry is in a transition phase, but it seems to me that the consumer/fan gets the brunt of the blame, rather than being involved in the shaping of something new. An artist or label's community is more important than ever - getting feedback on what you want, and how you want it, is essential. This simple survey was just the start of getting our own community's opinion, and we thank everyone who took the time to complete it.

For these questions we focused on MaJiKer's followers on Twitter and Facebook, but also pushed the survey out to fans on Last.fm and members of the EQ Facebook group. We received responses from all over the world, and it should be noted that this data is reflective of MaJiKer's audience, and therefore not music fans as a whole. All respondents received a Gaymonkey MP3 sampler and the chance to get a copy of the limited edition CD of Revolutions by Melnyk.

I'm happy to share the insight over the next few posts - if you have any questions on the responses, please feel free to get in touch!

We're S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G

We asked where people usually get their music from, allowing survey respondents to choose multiple options from a list - including iTunes, CD stores, MP3 blogs and more. Immediately it is clear that we are gleaning our sounds from more than one place; where a decade ago we would have relied on our local record shop, we now pick and mix from online, offline, and direct from third parties.

Surprisingly, the CD store still comes up tops - however, online shops are more popular (49%) than the high street (43%). This is followed up very closely by the digital format - with 47% getting their music from iTunes, and 32% from other online shops. While iTunes remains a leader in digital distribution, 43% of respondents are also accessing tracks from MP3 blogs.

It would have been beneficial to have these responses rank ordered via preference, but I suspect that choice is not necessarily based on our favourite place to shop. With the fragmentation of distribution comes the necessity of convenience - we are getting used to wanting music fast and available at our fingertips. Though this data may suggest an even split between the physical and digital formats, it is possible that people are still picking and choosing between the two depending on convenience.

Pricing has often been cited as a barrier to people purchasing music in the past few years. Why buy when you can get it for free? When given the choice, our community opted for £8 (10€) as the price that artists/labels should charge for an album (54%).

Only one respondent ticked the box that stated "music should be free".

Perhaps choice and availability are more valued to our community than the ability to get what they want for free?

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