Twitter Not A Top Source For Music Discovery is the delightful title of a post over at Hypebot. When I saw this headline (via Hypebot's Twitter account) I wondered exactly what numbers they had to back up this odd assertion. It seems to be suggesting that Twitter is not where people go to follow up on finding out about something new, and instead use reccomendations from friends, or the radio/web to find out more.
A year ago I would have said I find out about new music from blogs. Now I follow all those blogs on Twitter. A year ago I would have said I get emailed new music tips by friends. Now I follow those friends on Twitter. Some of them share good music via their Facebook pages too.
As one of the commenters on this posts says.."Twitter is a personalized experience, you follow the people, magazines and sources for new music YOU respect and appreciate, and you follow them because you value their opinions. HENCE, Twitter is the BEST PERSONALIZED source for Music Discovery..."
That's a view I tend to agree with. Hisham Dahud, the author of the post responds to the above commenter..
"I agree with you that Twitter is a personalized experience in of it's own. In terms of media content however, Twitter does not suffice in providing users the resources they need to complete a discovery other than word-of-mouth recommendations (as you so described)."
Saying that Twitter doesn't do a good job in providing resources for people to complete their music discovery largely ignores the fact that there are a ton of great services already doing that (Bandcamp, Soundcloud) and they are all easily compatible with Twitter. As the article says, if Twitter tried to do those things, it would stop being Twitter.
The article states that ".. Even after making their discovery elsewhere, only 2% of NPD’s respondents said they utilize Twitter to follow-up with their discovery. This falls well behind other follow-up activities like streaming the video (19%), purchasing the download (14%) and waiting to hear the song on the radio (12%)."
I recall having a discussion late last year with someone over the importance of online vs radio when the Caddick review of NZ On Air came out.
Although most people I know discover new music thru the internet these days, the most recent survey done by NZ On Air (in 2009) found that 46% of New Zealanders discovered new music via radio, and 17% discovered new music via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. Of course these numbers don't take into how engaged the listener is, ie whether it's passive listening (ie radio on while driving) vs active listening (searching blogs etc).