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Consumers in Canada are Turning Up the Volume on Music

2 minute read | May 2017

If music were a brand in Canada, it would be flying high—living on cloud nine. That’s because despite the wealth of new technology and media constantly being unveiled to tempt and engage consumers, music consumption is rising.

In fact, according to the Canada Music Year-End Report, consumption is at an all-time high, with consumption of albums sales, song sales and audio on-demand streaming up 5% over the previous year. It also continues to be an incredible year for Canadian artists, both at home and around the world. Recently, Drake’s latest album, More Life, broke the record for one-week on-demand audio streams, with 43 million streams in its debut week in March. The record was previously held by Starboy, from another Canadian artist, The Weeknd.

According to Nielsen’s annual Canada Music 360 Report, 93% of Canadian consumers are listening to music this year, which is up from 89% last year. Among younger consumers, the percentage is even higher, with 96% of Millennials saying they listen to music (up from 93% last year). Digital technology may be playing a role in the increase, as more than half of the Canadian population (53%) now listens to music via smartphone in a given week. Listening by tablet is also gaining traction, rising to 30% among the general population and 38% among Millennials.

The amount of time consumers in Canada spend listening to music is also rising. Overall, Canadians spend an average of 32 hours listening to music, up from 24 a year ago. Greater access to variety and platforms, however, has been a boon for the streaming realm, as music streamers in Canada now spend an average of 44 hours listening to music each week.

Canadians’ growing appetite for music represents a noteworthy opportunity for brands, particularly with respect to giving consumers greater access to their favorite artists. For example, nearly half of Canadians (46%) say they would view a brand more favourably if it offered free downloads of a new single by an emerging artist or band. Additionally, 44% say they would regard a brand more favourably if the offer was for a free download by a new and emerging artist or band.

But Canadians aren’t just listening to music—they’re engaging with music. Specifically, they’re more likely to attend live events, with 59% of Canadians attending, up 4 percentage points from last year, and of those who attended a live event, 81% attended a music event. Millennials are the most engaged with live events (70%), and they’re more likely than the rest of the population to attend music festivals and attend club events where a DJ is performing.

For additional insights, download the Nielsen Canada Music 360 2017 report highlights.

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