Search Engines Fueling Online Music Retailers
Search engines are fueling the online hip-hop, rock, country and polka industries according to a new Hitwise study. 30.4 percent of U.S. visits to music retail Web sites in July 2004 resulted directly from search-engines and directories. According to a new report from Hitwise, an online competitive intelligence firm, this high rate of search-driven music shopping compares with 19.2 percent for the overall retail category. July 2004 visits to music retailers from search engines and directories have grown by 49.0 percent versus the same period a year ago.
Among the top 100 search terms, 50 percent of search queries that resulted in visits to the Hitwise Music retail category were brand related (i.e. “bmgmusic”); 21 percent were navigational (included a URL, i.e., “www.columbiahouse.com”); and 29 percent were generic in nature (associated keywords, i.e., “music downloads”).
“Search engines have long played a vital role in helping consumers navigate the Internet, however they now are playing a monumental role in connecting music fans with music retailers,” said Bill Tancer, vice president of research, Hitwise. “For music shoppers, search engines and directories offer an effective and comprehensive means for locating music products and seeking the best deals. For the music retailers, a major new customer-acquisition platform has arrived. And with the increasing popularity of the Internet for music distribution and listening, retailers have no choice but to engage it.”
Over 53 percent of search queries resulting in visits to music retailer sites consisted of three or more words, compared to 48 percent for overall online retailers (for the 4 weeks ending June 19, 2004). According to Tancer this demonstrates that online music shoppers tend to more specific in their search goals.