USA TODAY - For music fans, a mobile phone doesn't say, "Call me." It says Call Me Maybe.
Carly Rae Jepsen's viral hit is one example of how phones, social media and streaming have revolutionized music consumption.
With 119.8 million streams, Jepsen's viral hit was the most streamed song and video of 2012. The singer has 5.6 million Twitter followers and 5.2 million "likes" on Facebook. A lot of those admirers connected with her via cellphones, a crucial social conduit between fan and artist, according to The Entertainment Consumer: State of the Media Report, to be issued by Nielsen next week.
Via phones, 55% of consumers read artist and band Facebook posts, 53% "like" posts, 30% comment on posts and 28% click on timelines. In the Twitterverse, 26% of fans read artist tweets and 14% retweet.
"It's the entertainment portal," says David Bakula, senior vice president of analytics at Nielsen Entertainment. "You've got a much more engaged consumer and many more opportunities for artists and fans to interact. Word of mouth used to be one-to-one. Now it's one-to-many, where each fan becomes a micro-marketer."
Streaming has proven effective as a promotional tool: 29% of consumers are likely to buy music after hearing a stream. Among sites, YouTube continues to clobber the competition with 129.3 million streams in 2012, up 1%; Pandora trails with 14.9 million streams, up 5.2%; and Spotify, gaining ground with a 91.2% spike, tallied 10.2 million streams.
YouTube's slight growth doesn't portend a plateau.
"I don't foresee any flat-lining," Bakula says. "We've seen nothing but acceleration and growth. YouTube has become a more popular consumption channel than radio."
Other Nielsen findings:
One third of the U.S. population falls into a class of "entertainment aficionados," an ethnically diverse group of consumers with an average household income of $63,000. They account for 78% of music sales and 70% of spending across all entertainment categories. The "low entertainment spender," average income $53,000, listens to more music (6.1 hours a week vs. 4.3 hours for aficionados) but attends fewer live events (2.9 hours vs. 3.4 hours), not surprising given the steep cost of concert tickets.
Teens spend six hours a week listening to music, about one hour more than fans 18 and older.
Female Internet users 18 and older are more likely than men to buy physical and digital music.
Though physical CD sales fell 13.5% to 194 million albums, overall, music sales in 2012 rose 3.1% thanks to a 14.1% jump in digital albums (to 118 million copies) and a 5.1% increase in digital tracks (to 1.3 billion, the most downloads ever purchased in a single year).