Future Audience: Size Of Music Discovery Age Populations In Europe

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There is various global and national research available on the music discovery demography. People usually discover new music in their young age as they are forming their own personal identity with their peer group. This process mainly happens in the school, where similarly aged, educated young people spend much of their day together.

The music discovery phase is strongly related to the time when most people get their music education: their skills to listen to music, play music or sing, and to compose new music. Investment into music education pays of in later age: people with more diverse music education, for example, with the ability to play music, tend to visit concerts more or discover more music in later life stages.

The annual growth (top chart) and total growth (lower chart) of the 15-24 years-old population in select European countries.
The annual growth (top chart) and total growth (lower chart) of the 15-24 years-old population in select European countries.

For practical reasons and supported by academic research, we chose the age group 15-24 as the key age group for music discovery. We placed the national population of the music discovery age group in the Music & Society pillar of the Demo Music Observatory.

The changes across Europe are dramatic: in Latvia and the Baltic states, the music discovery age population decreased by 60% since the countries (re-)gained independence in 1991. Musicians and their organizations must work hard in these countries on developing export strategies if they want to maintain the market and audience of their music.

Some European countries, for example, the Netherlands and Turkey have significantly increased their future audiences. In Turkey this is mainly related to population growth, in the Netherlands to immigration. Countries with a growing young population have a strong position for their music business.

Not all lost in the Baltics and other countries where the music discovery age population is shrinking. Much of the lost young population migrated to the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. If artists and their association in these countries find a way to connect with these new diaspora, their market loss will be far less dramatic. Connecting to the diaspora is the most natural way to start exporting new music.

  • Get the data from the Demo Music Observatory.
  • Earlier this year we introduced some in-depth comparison of music audiences in the Chapter 2. Central European Music Industry Report.

Photo credit LauraMayM