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Jazz scores with upmarket consumers

News, 11 March 2016

NEW YORK: Upmarket brands might usefully consider jazz as a way of reaching their desired demographic, as research shows fans of the genre are more likely than other music listeners to shop at top-end stores and stay at top-end hotels.

Researcher Nielsen observed that while jazz accounted for just 1.3% of total music consumption in 2015, jazz fans typically spent more on digital music than the average music fan, were digitally savvy and were drawn to high-end brands and services.

They were active streamers and were more willing than most to pay for such services, while online destinations such as venue and event websites were important sources of discovery for both recorded music and live events.

According to Nielsen's Audience Insights Report on jazz music fans – which focuses on listeners aged 25 to 48 – this audience tends to be metropolitan and male, although a significant proportion (42%) is female. And while they are predominantly white, they are twice as likely to be African-American as the average music listener.

Nielsen also noted "a taste for the good life", as jazz fans travelled more and showed a preference for high-end hotel chains. "They're also fashionistas", it said, being more likely than other music listeners to buy designer jeans and shop at upmarket department stores. Among female jazz fans, specialty cosmetics brands were preferred over the mainstream.

And in two particular high-spending ad categories, cars and alcohol, jazz fans' choice veered towards imported brands.

Not only does this group of music lovers offer an opportunity to upmarket brands, but there is, almost, a ready-made route to reaching them since they are more responsive than others to music-based activations: for example, 61% say free music downloads increases brand favourability.

"Digital music activations may be an effective way for brands to connect with a desirable audience of high-end consumers," Nielsen concluded.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff