Music fans more likely to care about climate change, survey finds

·3-min read
Music fans care more about climate change and want the music industry to do extra on the issue according to a recent university study (Nick Ansell/PA) (PA Archive)
Music fans care more about climate change and want the music industry to do extra on the issue according to a recent university study (Nick Ansell/PA) (PA Archive)

People who love listening to music place a higher priority on tackling the climate crisis than those who do not, a new report has shown.

The study, by the University of Glasgow, is called Turn Up The Volume and draws on YouGov UK polling of 2,184 adults from across the UK.

Results showed those who love a tune expect the music industry to do more about the climate emergency and sustainability.

The survey asked a range of questions related to music, including how songs are listened to and purchased, and attitudes to environmental concerns.

Music culture has a long history of playing a key role in social movements, and the evidence shows this link is still strong in the present day when it comes to the climate emergency

Dr Matt Brennan, study leader

The poll found that 82% of music fans were concerned about climate change compared with 72% of non-music fans.

When broken down, these figures showed 42% of music fans were “very concerned”, compared with 31% of non-music fans feeling the same.

The survey also found 54% of music lovers believed “tackling climate change should be a top priority now, above other issues” compared with 47% of non-fans.

Dr Matt Brennan, who led the study, said: “The project findings are exciting because they demonstrate a clear relation between engaged music fandom, increased concern about climate change, and desire for action.

“Music culture has a long history of playing a key role in social movements, and the evidence shows this link is still strong in the present day when it comes to the climate emergency.

As an industry we need to harness this passion and commitment and drive lasting and meaningful long-term change as we look to decarbonise in a sustainable way

MJ Olaore, BPI

“This should send a strong message across the music industries, to record labels, concert promoters, streaming platforms, artists, and other sectors, that there is an appetite for industry initiatives to tackle climate change, and that fans support, and indeed demand, bolder action.

“It represents an opportunity for the music sector to play a more prominent role in accelerating a just and green transition.”

The poll also found that people who value music are prepared to engage with it in a more sustainable way.

One example included that people who spend money on merchandise such as records are willing to opt for more sustainable products, while live event attendees said they will look to go to more sustainable-orientated music events.

MJ Olaore, of the BPI, the UK record labels association and a lead partner on the project, welcomed the findings.

She said: “Addressing climate change is the critical issue facing all of us and, as this timely survey shows, it’s something that music fans really care about and are particularly determined to do something about.

“As an industry we need to harness this passion and commitment and drive lasting and meaningful long-term change as we look to decarbonise in a sustainable way.”

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