By Sophie Nevrkla
New figures have emerged suggesting that more young people in the US are paying for music than their older counterparts.
According to Business Insider UK, statistics published in the Cowen propriety Consumer Internet Survey by John Blackledge and Tim Arcuri (based on 16% of respondents who bought music during May 2016) show that 46% of those aged 18-24 bought music or music access at some point during this period, with 45% of 25-34 year olds doing the same.
However, the numbers begin to drop significantly in the 35-44 age bracket, of whom 39% paid for music, whilst the 45-54 demographic fares worse still: just 26% of those in this bracket purchased music in May 2016. The downward trend continues for 55-64 year olds, where 22% of these US citizens bought music, whilst just 12% of 65+’s in the US paid for music in May 2016.
In some ways these figures are to be expected – older music lovers are less likely to take an active interest in new releases. Indeed, those in the US 65+ bracket are far less likely to subscribe to a streaming service. Figures published by Statista show that only 2% of Spotify’s US users are comprised of American citizens over 65, whist just 4% of users are between the ages 55-64, and 9% 45-54 (based on data from April 2015). These listeners tend to be more habitual in their music consumption, favouring albums they already own in vinyl or CD form.
The figures present a surprising new trend for an age bracket previously written off as a section of society that accessed tracks online for free or illegally. With almost half of all 18-24 year olds in North America purchasing music in some form, they also represent the largest section of US Spotify listeners, comprising 26% of its customers as of April 2015.
These combined figures suggest that future growth in the US music industry will be driven by their youngest citizens, which could encourage record labels to continue investing in younger artists to push forward this momentum in streaming and sales.