SHANGHAI: Marketers increasingly recognise that music is an effective way of engaging with consumers and will be encouraged by new research that shows Chinese consumers, especially those on higher incomes, enjoy listening to music.

Research firm Nielsen released its new Music 360 China report, which found 72% of the general population in China listens to music, and they do so for an average of 16 hours per week.

But what Nielsen calls "Tier 1" consumers, who live in cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and have the highest average household incomes, are 15% more likely to listen to music than the general population.

These consumers spent an average of 19 hours a week listening to music, spend more of their discretionary income on it, and are the most likely to enjoy listening to English language music, particularly jazz, pop and rock.

Indeed, music listening and engagement among these wealthier Tier 1 consumers is almost as high as it is in the US, while live music attendance is even more popular (57% versus 51% in the US).

Also of note for marketers, the research found that streaming music online, which is changing the landscape of the music business in the US, is gaining traction in China.

Seven-in-ten (71%) of Tier 1 consumers in China listen to an online streaming service in a typical week, which comes close to 75% of US music listeners.

"For brands, involvement in music-based sponsorships could be a solid way to reach Chinese consumers," the report said. "Not only are they highly engaged with music, but they are generally favorable when a brand is involved, with the highest net favorability going to promotions that offer free music downloads or sweepstakes."

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff