Market segmentation is an analytical tool that groups like-minded consumers into distinct groups enabling us to get richer insight into the behaviors, thoughts, and opinions of each group. The purpose of a market segmentation is to identify unique groups within your target audience so that you can prioritize key groups, and deliver more relevant messaging to them.

The Myers-Briggs Personality test is a common example of a segmentation exercise and assigns a personality type based on psychographics i.e. beliefs, interests, values, and life expectations.

U.S. Music Listeners are asked about their music listening habits and how they engage with music in Luminate’s flagship U.S. Music 360 study. We leverage this foundational data to then identify commonalities and differences among music listeners. As you might have seen in our teaser this past September, each listener is then assigned to one of five groups / segments where they share mutual patterns of behaviors and opinions with other listeners.

Luminate’s ongoing and growing research in this space allows us to continually fine-tune this analysis as music listeners evolve and develop newer habits.

Why understand fans solely based on age and gender when you can view the entire U.S. music fanbase through the lens of distinct groups defined by how they experience music?

Additionally, while some streaming companies offer their own listening personalities based on streaming on their platforms, Luminate’s segmentation includes streaming and non-streaming activity – like device usage, physical purchases, and radio listenership. And it also includes people who don’t stream music at all.

Music listeners are a diverse group of fans. Individual listeners will unquestionably have their own unique behaviors, opinions, & willingness to engage. The demographics, behaviors, and opinions presented in the Luminate U.S. Music Listener Segmentation represent those that are more / most likely to appear in each segment. This analysis does not make assumptions of characteristics that would exclusively appear in any one segment. The data presented allows for directional analyses of music listeners across the U.S. Music Market.

Get to know the music listener segments...

The Enthusiast

Enthusiasts are a high-value, highly-engaged audience disproportionately composed of higher-income earners – making them the most monetizable music listener segment / group. They listen to a vast array of genres via multiple listening formats and are also more likely to attend live events. They love staying up-to-date with technology and news/updates from their favorite artists! They enjoy listening to music with friends or family and discover new music from streaming platforms.

Outside of music, Enthusiasts are more likely than other groups / segments of music listeners to engage with sports and video games. They are also the most likely group / segment to discover new music from video games.

Devotees, like Enthusiasts, are also highly-engaged music listeners. They spend more time listening to music than any other consumer segment (but do so disproportionately via free/ad-supported streaming services).

Devotees listen to just about everything under the sun, but are especially keen on world music especially “emerging” genres like Afropop, EDM or K-Pop. Given their broad listening palette, they are likely the first group to be early adopters of the “next big genre”.

Despite spending more time listening to music than any other group / segment of music listeners, they have high standards and audio quality is the most important consideration to them when buying music. While they like to create their own playlsts and listen to music by themselves, they love their share of music festivals and are also more likely than other listeners to consume music on vinyl!

The Devotee

The Radio Rocker

Radio Rockers are just what the name implies: they love classic rock, and love to listen to it on the radio. But Rock isn’t the only thing that distinguishes them from others: they also tune into Country, Oldies, Pop, and Easy Listening. They like listening to music in their car which also explains their affinity towards CDs to some extent. Radio Rockers tend to be older and are more concentrated in the midwest.

Outside of music, Radio Rockers are more likely than other groups / segments of music listeners to cook for leisure and watch television. They are also more likely to be white / caucasian, and prefer to engage with content / entertainment produced domestically / in the United States.

The Cool Kids skew younger and are especially concentrated among Gen Z and millennials. They’re the most racially diverse (with especially high representation among Black/African Americans), and are more likely than other groups / segments of music listeners to listen to Hip-hop and R&B on a weekly basis. They like to create their own playlists, and largely listen to music by themselves to help stay focused on work, chores, or other responsibilities.

The Cool Kids love digital entertainment and “balance” is their mantra to life – juggling their leisure time between social media, music streaming, and video streaming.

The Cool Kid

The Ghost Listener

Ghost listeners tend to fly under the radar, but they still exhibit several unique listening or consumer behaviors. They tend to be younger, speak multiple languages, and use streaming services at higher rates. But overall, they don’t have strong listening preferences and don’t consider music as central to their lives. They are less likely to attend live events and are likely to spend the least money on music related activities.

However, despite not spending as much time listening to music as other groups / segments of music listeners, music is an important tool to their emotional well-being. They enjoy the lighter side of music and primarily listen to feel happy, calm or when they’re relaxing. They like listening to music with lyrics that connect with them on a personal level, or music from their past that reminds them of that period in their life. They also listen to music to help them forget about current events that stress them out.

While they discover new music from streaming platforms, social media, and their friends / family, Ghost Listeners are not as likely to have an influence on their peers’ / friends’ / family’s taste in music.

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