Music Industry Not Listening to Its Audience Says New Study

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Music Services Company iMusicRain Finds That Two out of Five American Consumers Unsatisfied with Industry’s Output

There are large swaths of consumers who are telling us that they are simply unhappy with today’s commercially available music.

According to a new study by music services company iMusicRain, the state of the music industry is in need of repair, with consumer satisfaction for commercially available music today – the type you might hear on the radio or produced for mass consumption – precipitously low.

In fact, more than two out of five (44%) American consumers are unsatisfied with commercially available music today, and many of those who may at first appear to claim they are satisfied, are, in reality, satisfied by the fact that technology exists that allows them to escape the mainstream via downloads and streaming services.

“We’re seeing it across the board,” says Yurina Shin, creative director at iMusicRain and the lead author of the study. “There are large swaths of consumers who are telling us that they are simply unhappy with today’s commercially available music. Many are turning to downloads and streaming services to find the music they like – be it indie bands, obscure genres or songs from decades past.”

What’s more, most consumers expect things to stay the same – at least in the near term.

According to Shin, two thirds (64%) of consumers believe that the music coming out over the next 6 months will hold just about the same appeal as today’s music does, while 20% feel it will be less appealing to them – just 16% expect music to improve and become more appealing.

“While perhaps obvious,” says Shin, “publishing appealing music is crucial to improving sales numbers. In fact, the consumers most likely to say they are planning on increasing their spending on music are the same consumers who expect the commercial music scene to improve.”

Most of the consumers polled expected their spending on music products to remain the same over the next two quarters. Those most likely to increase their spending are also those with the most positive outlook on commercial music. Those planning to increase their spending expect to spend approximately 25% more on music products, while those planning on scaling back expect to cut their spending by around 30%.

Encapsulating the Health of the Music Industry

While many factors go into gauging the health of the music industry, the iMusicRain team has developed a new metric that encapsulates all those factors into one number. The State of the Music Industry index, which had a reading of 51.9 in March, measures consumer satisfaction, planned spending and levels of appeal with respect to the music being released today.

The composite score ranges from zero to 100, with scores above 50 indicating a healthy state and scores below 50 indicating an unhealthy state for the industry.

“We’ll be publishing the State of the Music Industry index every month,” says Shin. “We hope to see this important metric climb over time, which would signal a healthier, fresher and more creative, music industry.“

For more information about this study or the State of the Music Industry index, please send an email to music(at)imusicrain(dot)com.

About the State of the Music Industry Index (SOMI Index)
The State of the Music Industry Index is the first metric of its kind that provides a comprehensive and easily digestible view of the health of the music industry and evolving trends within the greater music landscape. Developed my iMusicRain (, the index is based on a monthly survey of adult American consumers. Going forward, the index will be released on a monthly basis.

About iMusicRain (
iMusicRain is a full service music creation and production company, offering clients a wide range of services including music composition, sound design, music production, music consulting, music-related research and quality talent for events and performances.

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