Music + Twitter = Profits?

A new study indicates Twitter-users love music and are more likely to pay the piper.

A report by research outfit The NPD Group says awareness of Twitter more than doubled during the first quarter of this year, reaching a 52-percent awareness level among Internet users in the United States.

Of course, you already knew that, what with the 140-character messaging service making headlines almost every day, and most recently being attributed as one of the few conduits for protesters in Iran getting their messages out to the world. But it’s the report’s reference to music fans using Twitter that has music industry folks talking.

Seems that awareness of Twitter is higher among music fans than the national average, with NPD placing it at 67 percent during the first quarter. Furthermore, 12 percent of music buyers claimed to have used Twitter during the same time period, versus 8 percent overall.

What the recording industry should find encouraging is NPD also discovered that 33 percent of Twitter-users reported buying a CD during the first quarter and 34 percent responded saying they had purchased a digital download. Compared to the 23-and 16-percent averages for overall Web users, respectively, the new report indicates Twitter-users are more inclined to buy music rather than illicitly grabbing it off of a file-sharing network, or ripping the tracks from someone else’s CD.

According to NPD’s figures, when Twitter-users purchase music, they spend more cash, and purchase 77 percent more downloads, than their non-tweeting contemporaries.

NPD also reported Twitter-users are more likely than the average Web surfer to get involved with online music activities, with one-third listening to music on social-networking sites, 41 percent listening to online radio, (nearly double the usage compared to non-Twitter users) and 39 percent watching music vids online.

“Twitter has the potential to help foster the discovery of new music, and improve targeted marketing of music to groups of highly-involved and technologically savvy consumers, but it has to be done right,” said NPD entertainment industry analyst Russ Crupnick. “There must be a careful balance struck between entertainment and direct conversation on one hand, and marketing on the other. Used properly Twitter has the power to entertain – and to motivate music fans to purchase more new albums, downloads, merchandise and concert tickets.”

Please click here to read the entire NPD announcement; Twitter Users More Engaged With Music – and More Likely To Pay For It.