Millennials in America have massively embraced music streaming at the expense of AM/FM radio, according to the latest study Music & Millennials, unveiled today (July 12) by trade organisation the Music Business Association (Music Biz) and data partner LOOP (Lots of Online People).
“This study confirms that younger millennials are moving away from traditional means of music consumption and embracing more interactive music services and devices,” said David Lewis, Co-Founder of LOOP.
Not only do millennials — 15 to 19 year old — use streaming twice more than the national average — 51% of their total listening time when the overall average is 24% — their time spent listening to traditional radio does not exceed 12% when the national listening share is 35%. "This indicates that even though millennials are being exposed to radio, they are not engaging with it, and on-demand streaming is making up the difference,” according to the report, based on a study conducted by LOOP in May 2016 with 3,014 US respondents.
The millennials’ devices of choice are connected devices such as smartphones, which accounted for 41% of their listening time, more than double the overall average of 18%. AM/FM radio receivers only accounts for 11% of their time when they represent 33% of the general population’s listening time. "This also explains why 15-to-19 year olds are far more likely than the general population to upgrade to a premium streaming account because they want to access the service on their mobile phone,” according to the report. Among the 15-19 age group, 40% cited mobile access as a major factor in the decision to upgrade to premium, compared to only 29% of the general population.
Not surprisingly, the report also shows that, for the first time, YouTube has overtaken broadcast radio for music discovery among the general population, with 34% of all respondents mentioning YouTube when asked how they typically discover new music. Only 32% cited AM/FM radio. Among 15-to-19 year olds, the importance of YouTube was even more prevalent as 56% cited YouTube and 23% listed AM/FM radio.
The study also found that rather high proportion of respondents who have a premium account with a streaming service do not actually pay for that subscription, with 18% of the general population saying their premium access came through a free trial, a bundle with another product/service, or that they use someone else’s account. Among 15-to-19 year olds, 24% said they do not pay for their premium subscriptions, with 11% saying it came with a purchase and 10% saying they use someone else’s account.
“We are thrilled to offer our members this uniquely insightful report, which provides a roadmap for the future of the music business through the eyes of the millennial generation,” said James Donio, President of Music Biz. “The quicker the music business can adapt to new trends, the more successful it will be.”