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Live Nation Study Says Fans More Likely to Value Live Music Over Sex

The Power of Live study suggests people are suffering from a trend called “Sensation Deprivation” in the digital age.

Live Nation has released the full extent of their Power of Live study, and respondents reported they were 10 percent more likely to value live music over sex. The study states that 71 percent of those surveyed believe “the moments that give me the most life are live experiences.”

Conducted in partnership with research agency Culture Co-op, Live Nation’s global study surveyed trends and behaviors of 22,500 live music fans, from 11 countries, ranging in ages from 13 to 65, with the key takeaway that live experiences are in high demand.

With more than two-thirds of adults between 18 and 34 years of age attending at least one concert or festival per year, Live Nation’s study suggests that people are craving live experiences in an increasingly digital world. Due to a trend the promoter is calling “Sensation Deprivation,” the study found that 73 percent of participants want to experience real life rather than digital life.

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The Power of Live study states that live music has become an antidote to lack of personal interaction in the digital age, with event attendance spiking 21 percent between 2016 and 2017 to 86 million.

“Of course, digital life isn’t dying off -- but after a decade of all that posting, pinning, tweeting, snapping, and streaming, people are tapped out,” the study reads. “They now recognize the importance of the physical world to their quality of life and are recalibrating their lives with more intention.”

When fans were asked to reflect upon a recent live music experience and rate their level of emotional intensity on a 0-10 scale, more than three-quarters (78 percent) said they felt an 8, 9 or 10. That’s 26 percent more emotionally intense than live sporting events, 27 percent more intense than streaming music, and 31 percent more intense than playing video games.

To test the emotional intensity of live music, Live Nation partnered on a biometric research study with Mona Lisa Chanda, Ph.D., experimental neuroscientist and co-author of The Neurochemistry of Music, as well as with TBD Labs, a creative technology consultancy.

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Live music fans participated in a biometric experiment at a St. Vincent show to discover that live music provided an average 53 percent increase in emotional intensity among participants -- that's 2.8 times more than listening to recorded music -- and fans self-reported a mood increase, from before to after the show, of five-times higher.

“Social media, mobile, and tech have made it easy to find and connect to people across geographies, but it’s harder than ever to do so in a way that feels human. We tap, touch, and swipe our phones 2,617 times a day, and we spend an average of 2.5 seconds with any piece of content,” the study reads, adding that demand for live events has shifted from social currency to a deeper desire for human connection.

According to the research conducted at major festivals, including Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, music is becoming an increasingly important cultural connector.

“Society is becoming more dynamic and blurred -- the boxes are breaking down, so painting in broad strokes can be exclusionary,” the study reads. “Respondents spanning three generations and five continents all say that music expresses more about who they are as people than their hometowns, religions, political beliefs, race, cultures, or social media profiles.”

The study also suggests that fans are more receptive to brands when they are at a live event. The survey determined that 67 percent of global audiences say the more emotionally engaged they are, the more open they are to new ideas. A total of 90 percent of participants said brands are welcome in the space as long as they find authentic ways to enhance their experience.

For a deeper dive into Live Nation’s Power of Live study, head to for the full paper.

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