Protein Audience Survey 2012 速
Introduction Welcome For over 14 years Protein has specialised in
I hope this 2012 edition provides you with some
connecting audiences with emerging culture and
inspiration and insight for your year ahead.
new ideas. At the heart of everything we do is our
We’re always keen to hear any feedback, so if you
global audience of over 50 million 18-35 year old
have any questions, comments and suggestions,
influencers. They’re what we call cultural innovators
please just drop us a line.
- they create trends, change thinking and continually challenge traditional models of media. More importantly though, this audience is redefining consumer tastes, attitudes and behaviour, meaning that what they’re doing today is what the wider market will be doing tomorrow. And because of this, Protein Networks continually researches their habits and lifestyles in order to understand where they are,
William Rowe, CEO & Founder, Protein Ltd.
how they think and what makes them tick. So we
created this, our second annual Audience Survey, in which we observe, analyse and explain how they live, work and play. However, your research doesn’t need to stop there. You can continually monitor and track behaviours and new ideas through the Protein OS, a suite of apps, events and daily insights. We’ve also produced a short film to accompany this survey, which presents street voxpops from around the world, alongside animated data visualisations and profiles of the people driving these trends, all of which you can view here: http://prote.in/audiencesurvey
Methodology The Survey The audience is what makes us. It’s what we call
Once the survey finished running, our in-house
the readers of our online publication network, a
insight team analysed the data and contextualised
group of leading cultural websites that specialise in
the findings. To do this we used desk research and
music, art, design, fashion, travel and technology.
our existing observations on trends and behavioural
It’s our quantitative sample of consumers that we
change, as well as asking leading experts their
continually talk to, monitor and analyse. It’s through
thoughts about the current state and future of
these observations that we can understand the
their industries. And we created further context
tastes, attitudes and behaviours of tomorrow’s
by including examples of key cultural innovators,
18-35 year olds.
projects, stores and spaces that resonate with our audience and are shaping future trends.
To do this we conducted a survey across our global network, which consisted of a series of questions
The result is what you see before you: an in-depth
about lifestyle habits. An MPU advert was placed on a
trend report that analyses the behaviours and tastes
series of key websites, which invited people to fill in a
of today’s 18-35 year old cultural innovators.
short survey. This ran for two months in late 2011 and allowed us to collect a total of 2,218 responses. This year’s survey was the biggest yet and used even more of our network. Participants included Dezeen, ArchDaily, MoCo Loco, Who Sampled?, FACT Magazine, Superfuture, Unlike City Guides and Vimeo.
Demographic Our Audience So who, exactly, is the Protein Audience? The
According to the results, our audience is a highly
majority of this yearâ€™s survey sample are 18-24
educated group with around 85% saying they have
years old, with 77% in this age group while 23% are
an undergraduate degree or higher, and a third say
over 35 years old. Most of them are male (57%) and
they have a postgraduate degree. Some are still
around 43% are female.
studying, with 16% saying theyâ€™re currently students.
The UK is the most represented country with 43%
Those currently in work are mostly employed in
of the sample. Around 16% live in the US and 3%
creative roles. The most popular industry is art and
in Canada. Europe is also included in the sample,
design, with around one fifth (19%) of the sample
with 3% from Germany, 2% from France, and 2%
saying they work in this sector. A further 16% work
from The Netherlands. A further 3% are Australian
in advertising and marketing.
and 2% are Brazilian. In total, the sample included people who lived in over 80 different countries around the world.
What country are you from?
What industry do you work in?
How old are you?
Art & Design
Media & PR
Science & Tech
Carey, 21, Student, Manchester
Alex, 23, Blogger/DJ, London
Jo, 25, Trend Researcher, London
Marshall, 22, Promoter, London
Ansen, 20, Blogger, Shanghai
Ansen, 20, Shanghai Ansen, 25, Marketing Assistant, Shanghai
Camille, 28, Art Director, Brussels
Red Light Radio, Amsterdam
‘The increased inter-connectivity of everyone has made it much easier to have an audience. You don’t need a publicity machine behind you.’ Sam Spiegel, Music Producer
While the industry itself may remain flustered by the
As we continue to move into the ever faster and
internet, our audience’s behaviour is slowly redefining
digital realm, we’ve noticed some of our audience
how music is consumed. For them, it’s all about shared
want to slow this movement down. Although CDs
experiences, whether that’s on- or off-line.
may well and truly be over, we continue to see a rise in the number of vinyl releases from artists.
From stacks of CDs and records, to heavily stocked
In fact, according to the Entertainment Retailers
iTunes folders, ideas around the ownership of music
Association (ERA), UK vinyl sales were up 55% on
are changing as streaming technology gets faster
last year in the UK.
and better. It’s no longer necessary to physically own a piece of music, as sites such as Spotify,
A number of smaller record labels are leading this
Rdio, MOG and Grooveshark now offer access
movement and continuing to bridge the gap between
to seemingly endless amounts of music all in one
music and art, partnering with artists to produce
place. Not to mention, it’s legal. It’s a trend we
limited edition vinyls and prints. We found that a small
expect will grow even more, with one fifth of our
group of vinyl fans in our audience (16%) are keeping
audience saying that they prefer to listen to music
the format alive. And despite the digital revolution, a
on streaming sites.
few – around a tenth (11%) of our audience – are still purchasing physical albums as keepsakes.
When our audience want to find new music, they typically turn to their friends (77%) for recommendations or use music sites (64%) such as Pitchfork and FACT Magazine. And as more music software integrates with Facebook, such as the recent Spotify app, our audience are turning to social networks to discover new music (54%), often based on what their friends have been listening to.
Which format do you purchase the most? MP3
Which format do you prefer to listen to? MP3
Live Music On The Rise
Live music is very much alive and well. Our
Many of these 18-35 year olds are taking their
audience regularly watch bands and DJs play at
hyperlocal sensibilities and adding them to the live
concerts, clubs and events: a tenth see live music
music experience. The result? Community radio
every week, around 12% see it every fortnight,
stations. Just look at the success of East London’s
and a further quarter (26%) see it every month. No
Boiler Room. Part-live gig and part-online radio station,
wonder there’s been an explosion in micro-events
the show invites people to come to its regular events
and boutique festivals. According to industry
to watch emerging DJs play, while coverage is also
magazine IQ, in Europe alone there were between
streamed live over the web. Anyone with an internet
2,500 and 3,000 music festivals this year.
connection can join in.
And live concerts aren’t always just a band on a
NTS Radio, also in London, is another example. It
stage. Increasingly, innovative twists on traditional
broadcasts from a town square in the Dalston district
performance are coming to the fore, giving 18-
of the city, and uses its website to let people listen
35 year olds a more visceral and unpredictable
to its shows, as well as see the personalities behind
experience. Rizlab, for instance, is a live music
them and photographs of the Dalston community. ‘I
workshop by Rizzla, which pairs a musician with a
guess we’re offering a really good way to tap into a
visual artist in order to create a multi-sensory event.
scene,’ says Clair Urbahn, co-founder of NTS Radio.
For those who miss it, coverage can be watched
‘There seems to be a worldwide interest in Dalston at
online in real time via a video stream.
the moment.’ The trend exists beyond London, too. In Amsterdam, Red Light Radio broadcasts live DJ sets from a former brothel window in a backstreet of the city. And DUBLAB in Los Angeles, as well as FBi in Sydney, both use a similar mix of in-the-flesh and on-the-web live events to present new music.
‘If we can listen to an album online, why shouldn’t we be able to watch a live show or club night online too?’ Antony Hill, FACT Magazine
Numbers Warehouse Party, London
Norse Projects, Copenhagen
â€˜Everyone is really discovering heritage and utilising it to tell their own story.â€™ Marcus Ross, Jocks & Nerds
Rl Lacoste x LOOKBOOK.nu
Many of our audience live at the cutting-edge of
Our digitally native audience are, as expected,
fashion. But this cutting-edge isn’t so much about new
regularly buying clothing on the web. Around a
trends and standing out, as spending wisely, valuing
fifth (17%) say they make several online purchases
quality and looking for craftsmanship in items they buy.
a month, and a quarter (26%) say they do so at least every two months. It’s no wonder that so
The most important thing our audience looks for in
many retailers are revamping their sites to include
an item of clothing is that it suits them, with 78%
editorial stories, video content and anything else
saying this was vital. Value is also important, with
that helps to make them more ‘sticky’.
55% saying they seek this in an item. A further 38% want new clothing to be durable and last a long time.
Luxury menswear webstore Mr Porter has pioneered this trend with a website that’s equal part
But how do they decide what to buy? For 59% the
shop and style magazine. It features interviews with
most popular source of fashion inspiration is other
leading style icons, stories about how to dress well
people in the street. Nearly half (46%) say their
and in-depth features on brands. All of which then
fashion is inspired by friends, and around 38% say
link back to products on sale in the shop. Topman
they’re inspired by subcultures. Celebrity culture,
has also been inspired by this trend, adding a
meanwhile, barely registers with our audience. Only
monthly online magazine called Topman Generation
10% say they’re inspired by celebs when it comes
to its e-commerce site. It features profiles with
to fashion, and only 20% say they’re inspired by
young emerging artists, designers and musicians.
what they see on television. And it’s not just editorial that’s being used by In terms of fashion media, blogs remain the most
fashion stores. In Sweden, interior design store
popular format, with 55% saying they regular read
Lagerhaus created the first online pop-up shop,
them to stay ahead on new trends. But old media
the Blog-Up Store, which saw six bloggers host a
isn’t redundant. Our audience still value something
widget on their site that featured a series of curated
they can hold in their hands, with 52% saying they’re
items that people could buy for a limited time only.
informed about fashion by magazines. It’s a rise of independent fashion publications, such as Inventory in the US and The Gentlewoman in the UK, that seems to be giving the medium this new lease of life.
People on the street
People on the street
How do you discover new trends?
Craft & Graft
Our audience are keen online shoppers but they still
In our post-industrial and digital world, the
enjoy the experience of a bricks and mortar store.
handmade is increasingly celebrated by people as
Despite all the frills and gimmicks that retail brands
a luxury. And our audience is no exception. They’re
are adding to their physical stores in a bid to entice
demanding more products that have been made by
online shoppers back, our audience simply want
hand, with around half (47%) saying they look for
an old-school store environment. By far the most
‘craftmanship’ in the clothing they buy.
important thing they look for in a store is that it sells top quality products, with 81% saying exactly this.
Several brands are responding to this need with video
Over half (58%) want a shop to be well-designed. And
content that communicates the production process
a further 53% say they simply want good service.
behind their goods. It’s also being represented in our audience’s media. Inventory magazine, for instance,
And so much for QR clothes labels, AR technology
features profiles with the designers, makers and
and NFC purchasing: only 6% want to see the latest
craftspeople behind contemporary brands such
technology in a shop. And in our current age of
as White Mountaineering and Nigel Cabourn. Ben
austerity, luxury retail just doesn’t seem to matter
Sherman’s Conversations in Modernism campaign
to them either: only 4% say they’re interested. For
paired two contemporary makers together to
retailers, it’s time to get back to basics.
talk about modern design, and documented the conversation through videos on its website.
‘Social media is proving that it’s not enough to open an online store and expect lots of sales. People want to buy what their friends have.’ Lee Carter, Hint Mag
Smith Journal, Melbourne
Berg Studio, London
‘It’s incredible that it’s now common to see a video made by a guy in Asia, then see him have a conversation with someone in Miami and see them talk about these new creative devices they’re working on.’ Blake Whitman, Vimeo
Last year we reported how our audience were early
Our audience’s online habits are a mix of social
adopters of technology. Of course, they still are. But
networking and information research. Despite the
what’s becoming more apparent is their need for
rise of Facebook, email still remains key, with 60%
devices and software that add function to their lives.
saying this is the activity they spend most time
They simply won’t download an app unless there’s
on while online. Staying up to date with the latest
a purpose, whether that’s to pay for goods, keep an
news is also popular, with 54% saying they do this
eye on their fitness or simply check the weather.
the most, and a further 45% say they prefer online editorial publications. They also like to create their
That’s not to say they aren’t consuming large
own content. With use of Facebook, as well as niche
amounts of technology. There might be a Digital
sites such as Instagram, photo-sharing has become
Downtime movement, as we mentioned in our
a key activity, with around a third (30%) saying they
Overview section, but our audience remain as
do this while online. Photo-blogging too has become
teched-out as ever. Around 46% of them have an
prominent, particularly with the rise of Tumblr, which
iPhone, about half (49%) own some sort of MP3
grew in membership by 218% last year.
player and 64% of them have a digital camera. They tend to prefer Apple computers, with 58% owning
Twitter remains popular, with about a third (30%)
a Mac and 42% a PC. The iPad is proving more
saying they like to spend time reading other
popular than alternative tablet devices, with around
people’s tweets. Branded tweets, created by
16% owning one, while 2% own an Android-based
companies however, aren’t so popular, with just
tablet device. In terms of gaming, the Wii is the
10% saying they read them. But most of all, people
most popular device, with 13% owning one, while
just want to browse the web and procrastinate, with
a further 9% own an Xbox console, and 6% a
63% saying they use the internet to simply search
People are now interested in small stories because of the media. Before it was newspapers and television. But now it’s more about Twittering small moments.’ Oki Sato, Nendo
Reading tweets by brands Talking to friends Emailing Browsing for inspiration
What do you do online? Browsing for inspiration
Reading tweets by people
Staying up to date with news
Location-based social networking
Reading editorial content
Reading tweets by brands
Talking to friends
ng tweets by people Streaming videos Photo sharing Browsing for inspiration Staying up to date with news Playing games Streaming music
The audience is using mobile phones for so much
Our audience are proving that data isn’t just for nerds.
more than just communication. They use their
A growing trend for these 18-35 year olds is the use of
devices as travel guides, as health monitors and
apps and devices to record habits in order to improve
news services. They’re also increasingly using them
their lifestyles. Apps such as Daytum let people
to buy products. Payment apps such as Square are
use their phone to record, well, just about anything.
enabling this to happen outside and away from the
Whether it’s tracking coffee consumption or how
cash register. The system has recently been used
many miles they run each weekend, people input data
by the Salvation Army in the US to enable on-the-
about their habits for self analysis later on.
spot donations by people who don’t have enough cash with them. Then there’s Google Wallet, which
‘People will be more active and fit if they understand
uses Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology
more about how they move and how their body
to let people make payments in a store simply by
behaves,’ says Dr Marco Cardinale, the Head
waving their smartphone in front of a reader. The
of Sports Science and Research at the British
technology is still in its infancy, but we predict it will
Olympic Association. ‘The ability to provide real time
only get bigger. Especially as 20% of our early-
information and continuous feedback on various
adopting Audience say they want to pay for goods
parameters can actually help more people exercise
with their phone as well as their cash and card in
and motivate them.’
coming years. Plus a further 14% want their mobile to function as a travel card. But don’t forget the Slow Technology movement. Many of the Audience don’t always want the latest tech fix for the sake of it. The key is functionality. After all, around a quarter (24%) say they just want their phone to be a phone.
Conclusion Despite our turbulent times, this year’s survey shows that our audience remain positive, productive and pro-active. They’re a social group operating both on- and off-line. They seek convivial environments, niche gatherings and face-to-face moments. They share a desire to support local enterprise – whether it’s buying a beer from a neighbourhood micro-brewery or supporting artists through a community radio station. Within retail, they look to brands that display values of authenticity, simplicity and straightforward service. They support their local stores and shopkeepers, preferring to buy products of quality, value and craftmanship. They also seek this sense of craft in the culture they consume, whether that’s a workshop that invites them to participate in a hands-on activity, or a piece of media that shows the processes behind a product. They want brands to share a similar outlook and to create visually compelling content that reveals production methods and the talented craftsmen behind them. Our audience are set to be at the forefront of cultural change and new consumer behaviour. For brands, this means engaging them online through purposeful content and offline through live events in their local neighbourhood. By supporting them in a tone, manner and voice that’s appropriate, brands can also be part of their constantly changing world.