Musicians, Know Your Customers

You’ve created the whole package. You’ve written songs, recorded your album, have the look, and have a decent following. Now what?

Bad news first -- album sales have plummeted! To be specific, album sales have gone from 350 million units sold in 2012 to 150 million units sold in 2018. It is predicted that this number will decrease by more than 7% in 2019. However, the music industry is earning $6.7bn in revenue with an estimated annual growth of 0.9% over the next 5 years. So how do you make more money when audiences are purchasing less music?

Time for some good news -- using the internet for marketing can largely increase your customer base for concerts and merchandise sales, and therefore increase your income. By understanding how to reach your customer segment and implementing a strategic internet marketing plan, you have a much greater change of increasing your revenue.

The first step is knowing who your customers are, how they contribute to the music industry, and how to reach them. Depending on your overall package, you will attract a specific demographic.  

Consumers who are under the age of 35, contribute to 30.9% of the music industry’s revenue. They are much more likely to access your music through the internet, attend concerts, and purchase merchandise. Even though this demographic earns a lower income than others, they spend a larger portion of that income on entertainment goods. Ages 25-34 are a particularly large market for the entertainment industry, due to having a higher disposable income than ages 24 and under. However, this tech savvy age group will participate in illegal streaming, heavily participating in the decrease in album sales.

People ages 35-54 will attend less concerts but are able to spend more on concert tickets and merchandise. Therefore, they make up 39.9% of the industry’s revenue. They have established listening preferences and are less likely to stream and download music.

Ages 55 and older are the least likely demographic to attend concerts and purchase music. They are also the least likely to access music via the internet. However, they represent 29.2% of the industry’s revenue and are well represented within the classical music and symphony orchestra market segments.  

By understanding your customer segment and through strategic use of the internet you will have the ability to grow as a musical group and/or artist and enjoy a larger income throughout your career.

*          *          *          *          *

For additional assistance, please feel free to contact Kristin Bidwell at Kristin is entertainment industry expert and professional business consultant. She offers one-on-one coaching sessions to assist you in obtaining a successful career in the entertainment industry.  


(1) Hoffman, E. (2018, December). IBISWorld Industry Report 71113, Musical Groups & Artists in the US. Retrieved April 26, 2019, from: