Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Friday, 27 March 2009

MTV and YouTube go head to head

Christina Aguilera MTV awards
MTV has the edge over YouTube for music, but for how much longer?

A higher percentage of 15-24 year olds in the UK have watched a music video on YouTube than on dedicated music channels, according to a new study.

The report found that 57% of 15-24 year olds watched music on YouTube, compared to 56% watching them on TV.

However, TV still has a commanding lead when it comes to adults as a whole.

The survey also found that half of all adults who watched a YouTube music video went on to buy music released by that artist.

The study, by market research firm Ipsos MediaCT, looked at the viewing habits of more than 1500 people, across the United Kingdom, in March 2009.

It found that double the number of 15-24 year olds were using YouTube to watch music videos, compared to other age groups. This percentage rose even more for those still in education, with 69% using the music channels on YouTube.

Television still has the edge when it comes to children. Or at least, families with children aged 10-15.

48% of these families have watched a music video on TV compared with 39% having watched music videos on YouTube.

Age 15 - 24 57%
Age 25 - 34 30%
Age 35 - 44 24%
Age 45 - 54 25%
Age 55+ 3%
Source: Ipsos MediaCT

Speaking to the BBC, Ipsos' head of entertainment research, Ian Bramley, said that TV music channels may have to rethink their position.

"There is a significant shift in the way the youngest adult age group watches its music videos. One would think this age group would stick with watching music videos online as they get older.

"TV music channels are doing very well, but they need to look at exactly who is actually watching their channel. It's probably not who they think their target market is.

"There may be a case, when we do this again, that the market starts to fragment and that TV music channels will need to reposition themselves for an older market," added Mr Bramley.

Coughing up

The survey also looked at what people do as a result of watching a YouTube video. It found that 50% of adult users then go on to purchase music, although the majority (36%) buy a CD, rather than a paid for digital download (15%). Another 7% go on to buy concert tickets.

The issue of copyright has dogged YouTube since its launch

Among the 15-24 age bracket, the difference becomes more pronounced, with 45% opting for a CD/DVD and 19% buying music via a digital download service.

The public's perception of the ongoing dispute between YouTube and the PRS for Music (formerly known as the Performing Rights Society) was also surveyed.

At the beginning of March 2009, YouTube started to remove all premium music videos after failing to reach a new licensing agreement with the PRS.

47% of adults surveyed though YouTube was right to take this action, with 28% of those surveyed opposed to the move. Another 25% said they either didn't know enough about the issue or were unsure what the right decision should have been.

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