Teen Girls Rule as Music Influencers, Spenders

It may come as no surprise that teens spend a lot of time perusing music sites, listening to song samples, buying tunes and gathering concert information online, but what might be found unusual is that girls are doing most of it. A September 2003 Jupiter Research (a unit of this site’s corporate parent) survey of more than 1,800 teens from the Ipsos-NPD online consumer panel found that girls are more likely to pursue music activities, and spend money too, than their male counterparts.

While the majority of teens spend less than $50 per month on entertainment, the report found that girls spend 15 percent more on music than boys, and nearly half of online teen girls spend more than $100 a year on music.

Juliana Deeks, Jupiter Research associate analyst, didn’t find a noticeable difference in the amount disposable income available to teen boys and girls, noting that, “…they spend it on different things. For example, boys are three times as likely as girls to purchase video games online (36 percent of boys vs. 13 percent of girls).”

It is quite possible that girls are spending money on something the boys are getting for free. “Girls are more likely to participate in just about all forms of online activity related to music – except those that most concern the industry: downloading free music and burning CDs,” Deeks observed.

The report revealed that nearly one-half of the girls surveyed read about musicians or bands online, and they are also more likely to use the Web to listen to streamed song samples and watch music videos. Also, girls are also twice as likely as boys to research concert and tour information online.

“What I thought made particularly good news for marketers targeting teen girls online was the fact that – besides spending more than boys for music – they [girls] are more reliant on the Internet to gather music-related info…, commented Deeks.”

“Moreover, they [girls] are more apt to share online info – including marketing info – with others online. For example, teen girls are more likely to share site URLs with friends, and are nearly twice as likely as teen boys to share info about music, bands and concerts,” continued Deeks.

Jupiter refers to these tune-loving teens as “music influencers” – those who act as musical tastemakers for other teens – and they comprise 26 percent of the teen online population. These influencers also spend 28 percent more on music than average online teen users do. Jupiter found that music influencers skew female, are evenly distributed among age groups, and are very style-conscious despite reporting average household income. They are pop culture oriented and in addition to music sites, they can be found on movie sites, style sites, and TV sites.

According to January 2004 traffic measurements from Hitwise, visitors to sites that focus on specific bands or artists from any musical genre, either official Web sites or those run by fans, are almost evenly split along gender lines, with girls having the slight edge.

Sites for Music Bands and Artists
Ranked by Visits, January 2004, U.S.
Site Market Share
Britney Spears 2.29%
B2K 1.89%
HilaryDuff.com 1.89%
Linkin Park 1.55%
Elvis-Presley.com 1.55%
Metallica 1.36%
Good Charlotte 1.16%
Blink 182 1.08%
50 Cent 0.92%
Lil Bow Wow 0.88%
Source: Hitwise

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