Brits switch to social media for music as concerts go meta, says Brit Awards sponsor Mastercard

Younger Brits are more likely to get their music recommendations from social media with TikTok and Instagram the most popular platforms.

According to a new report by Mastercard 56 per cent of those aged 16-24 found their favourite music online.

The report by the Brits Awards sponsor claims social media is overtaking physical concerts and live music.

According to the report, only 17 per cent of young Brits chose to go to live events while over fifty per cent preferred to find music online.

Over 23 per cent of 16 to 24-year olds said that they had attended a metaverse gig, while only 8 per cent of Brits said they had recently attended a live show.

This a marked shift from the previous generation. The biggest concert in UK history, the Isle of Wight concert in 1970 sold out over 600,000 tickets; The Who, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Jethro Tull, The Doors, Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen and Jimi Hendrix played at the record setting event.

The U2 360 concert tour that travelled between 2009 and 2011 clocked a whooping £704m in sales.

But in 2023, viral TikToks and Instagram reels are how listeners and artists discover and connect to each other with 45 per cent of the people surveyed insisting it was important to them to see their favourite artist “active” on social media.

TikTok, initially launched in 2016, now has over 30.8 million daily users, with the average user accessing the platform 19 times a day.

Social Media is influencing all sides of the music industry, with young Brits seeing social media as their best route to success. Of the people surveyed, 40 per cent said that they believe going viral is key, compared to traditional routes such as gigging in a pub (11 per cent) or winning a talent show (15 per cent).

At the end of 2022, Tess Reidy, of The Guardian, reported that musicians were being forced to cancel tour dates, due to sky rocketing costs and drop in ticket sales.

Concerts and live shows are taking a major hit because of the high prices and low audience turn outs.

“Artists are painfully cancelling shows. It’s a really big thing to do and there is no other option,” said Kelly Wood of national organiser for live performance at the Musicians’ Union.

With the cost of living crisis, online is a cheaper, more effective way for both music makers and fans to interact.

“Not all social media platforms are made equal, but they are the future of the music industry,” Rob Wells, Former Universal Music Group President told City AM.

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