NEW YORK: American consumers rank listening to music ahead of activities like watching television and reading, according to a survey which suggests that associating with music events can improve brand metrics such as favourability and purchase intent.

When GroupM Next polled 2,000 Americans for its report The New Music Model for Brands, it found that 22% chose listening to music as the most important activity in their life. This compared to 21% for television and 20% for reading and was far head of ahead of movies, video games and social media.

"This lends an entirely new perspective and importance on how every brand should be thinking about music as a part of their media and partnership plan," said Morgan Buksbaum, VP, GroupM ESP.

As well as listening to recorded, broadcast and streamed music – preferences tend to depend on age – consumers are also "hungry for more live music experiences," the report said.

One in two respondents had been to a concert or festival within the past 12 months, rising to 68% among 18-24 year olds.

The significance for brands lies in the survey findings that consumers say live music partnerships are the factor most likely to increase positive feelings and purchase propensity for a brand: 27% higher than award shows, 15% higher than a sporting event and 14% higher than a television show partnership.

"The possibilities are endless when it comes to offering fans memorable experiences that go beyond the traditional two-plus-hour show," according to Russell Wallach, president, Live Nation Media & Sponsorship. Options include access to pre-sale tickets, online content, or an exclusive backstage pass.

Leading brands have of course already successfully associated themselves with music or individual performers – UK telecoms business O2, for example, has leveraged its ownership of a London venue – but Jennifer Hageney, evp/Entertainment Partnerships at GroupM ESP, suggested that brands had only "scratched the surface" of what was possible.

"The technology, digital and social scale, and consumer desire are all aligned and ripe for brands to explore," she said.

"Controlling camera angles, consumption of on-demand content, participating in what is happening live – from song choices to pyro, live Twitter walls to your pics uploaded to video walls. It's time for Live Music 2.0."

Data sourced from GroupM Next; additional content by Warc staff