Automated music search survey names radio as key resource


Orpheus Media Research describes itself as an “advanced music research and development company that automates the search, analysis, and discovery of commercial-use music. Read digital, computer-oriented searching. That lends an enormous amount of credibility to its research finding that 82% of respondents list radio as “the single greatest influence of their music listening.”

According to Orpheus, the purpose of the consumer survey was to “…explore their perceptions of music streaming services, search and discovery platforms, and the role music plays in their lives.”

The survey found that 54% use music recommendation tools, with 40% utilizing them on a daily or at least weekly basis. However, the accuracy of such tools was criticized. 40% said such services were accurate 50% of the time or less, and many complained about the amount of time one had to invest to make use of them.

“People clearly expect more from music recommendation systems,” said Dr. Greg Wilder, founder and Chief Science Officer at OMR.  “Current search technology is expensive and limited to subjective descriptions of music, which are often just not good enough. We are focused on changing that.”

However, the search for information about music discovery found an old-media friend. Radio. Here are two findings from the study:

* 57% of the respondents indicated that they most often relied on radio or word of mouth to learn about new music; 14% indicated that they relied on mainstream media

* 82% identified radio as the greatest single influence of their music listening

There was also a negative statistic aimed at the recording companies:

* 82% feel that the music industry is doing an average to poor job in their ability to identify good music

RBR-TVBR observation: Amazing. In addition to the 82% that are influenced by music choices made by radio professionals, a similar 82% believe that music companies themselves do an “average to poor job identifying good music.” In other words, the labels sign and record acts with indifferent results. And despite the now long-time availability of internet-based music sources, it is still to this day mostly broadcasters who separate the wheat from the chaff and influence people to go out, or log on, and buy.

Once again the insanity of the labels’ desperate attempt to lay their own business failures on radio’s doorstep is underscored. The labels should be doing everything they can to maintain good relationships with broadcasters, lapping up the benefit of the free promotion that radio provides hour after hour, day after day, week after week.

Instead, their support of PRA risks driving many radio stations into spoken word formats, meaning no royalty income, and no promotion. Instead of pursuing this lose-lose strategy the labels should be looking elsewhere to solve their business model problems.