A new Jupiter Research study looks at "music influencers," tastemakers who are influential online among digital music fans. Jupiter describes them as eight percent of overall online users, who "participate enthusiastically in a broad range of music-related activities online." According to Jupiter, "word of mouth and radio are the most common means of music discovery among" music influencers.
According to Jupiter's data, radio is far and away the most popular method of music discovery for all four of its categories: "music aficionados," "paying downloaders," "CD purists" and "overall online users." "Recommendations from friends" was the second-most popular way to find new music. Online radio was chosen by 22 percent of music aficionados and paying downloaders, but just eight percent of CD purists and nine percent of overall online users.
Jupiter says 62 percent of "influencers" "discover music via friends' recommendations. "This indicates that influencers communicate with others like themselves about new and cool music. Thus, reaching out to influencers has a cumulative effect for music marketers. Music influencers tend to be young and are only slightly more likely to be men. They are on the leading edge of consuming and purchasing digital music. Forty percent of music influencers are music aficionados (i.e., online users who do at least one of the following on a regular basis: stream or download free digital music, rip or burn CDs, or create music collections on PCs—and who spent more than $50 on music during the past three months). Thirty-three percent have paid to download singles in the last 12 months, and 22 percent have paid to download albums in the same period. Almost one-half of them listen to music on a portable MP3 payer. They also have very eclectic taste in music (i.e., they are interested in multiple genres) and spend a median of $200 a year on music."