Music streaming is by far US teens’ favourite music format, study finds

A new study finds that US teens, aged 15-19, love streaming music more than any other format, in particular on YouTube and Spotify.

It may not be a surprise but now it’s official, teens are dominating music streaming platforms. A study by market researchers Loop shows that 15-19 year olds use music streaming way more than other generations.

The study finds that on-demand music streaming makes up 51% of teens daily listening time, in comparison 20% of their daily listening is on music downloads and files, 12% on AM/FM radio and 9% on internet radio like Pandora. This shows a large contrast to overall listening from all ages, which the study found spend most of their listening on AM/FM radio, equating 35% of their daily listening time.

Although on-demand streaming still comes second for all-ages it only makes up 24% of their listening time, less than half of teens. It makes sense that younger generations are the pioneers of music streaming as they’ve grown up in a digital age and are therefore more likely to adopt these new platforms. Surprisingly it’s not an issue of the cost of music driving younger users to stream music as radio came out on top for the overall population.

teens music streaming radio use online services Spotify YouTube

When asked which services they had used to stream music on-demand within the last week 71% of 15-19 year olds said they had streamed music on YouTube. Music streaming services themselves came behind YouTube with 44% of teens having used Spotify, 38% on Pandora, and 20% on Apple Music. Interestingly the 15-19 years still seem to be purchasing a fair amount of their music as 28% said they had used iTunes in the past week.

The willingness to pay for music is an important area of the study as many claim that artists are losing out on money because younger generations don’t want to pay for music, saying free streaming services have led them to feel entitled to it. The study showed, however, that whilst overall US respondents were only 17% likely to pay for a streaming service, 21% of 15-19 year olds said they would. In addition 29% of 20-24 year olds and 31% of 25-34 year olds would pay to stream.

That could be due to older generations possible alienation from music streaming as an entirely digital product or perhaps reveals that younger generations aren’t as tight-pocketed with music as generally thought. In fact recent studies show that younger generations are more likely to pay for music overall, not just when it comes to music streaming.

music streaming Spotify YouTube CDs Vinyl

A study by Cowen shows a steep incline in ages with 46% of 18-24 year olds saying they paid for music in the past 30 days. This shows a massive disparity between older generations, with only 12% of 65-and-overs saying they paid for music in the past 30 days. Of course surveys never necessarily represent the truth but they often show an accurate representation, and the trends do align.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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