Belfast Telegraph

Generation Z report predicts the future of music and social media

Social media as we know it could become a thing of the past for young millennials.

The next generation of music fans are likely to discover their new favourite song through YouTube, are more likely to be willing to pay for it than older listeners, and think Facebook is over, a report has found.

Generation Z: Meet The Young Millennials gives an insight into music and social media habits of people aged up to 19 to predict the changes the industries could face.

The findings were presented by Mark Mulligan of MiDiA Research at an insight session hosted by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) on Tuesday.

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Music and social media consumption is changing (Andrew Matthews/PA)

YouTube was recognised as the top entertainment platform for tweens and teenagers, with the report finding that they used it as “a video destination, music app, social platform and educational resource rolled into one” and with monthly user penetration peaking at 94% for those aged 16-19.

But its popularity is overtaken by Spotify for music alone as the age group turns to the streaming service along with similar platforms such as Deezer and Apple Music – in fact, Spotify boasts 53% weekly user penetration as compared with 47% for music on YouTube.

The report also highlighted that heavy use of streaming shows that younger fans are more likely to pay for music than other age groups, with 67% of 16 to 19-year-olds coughing up for new tracks compared with 56% of other listeners.

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Teens are more likely to stream music (Spotify/PA)

Streaming has changed the way that teenagers listen to music, as 74% of 16 to 19-year-olds said that they mainly listen to single tracks rather than full albums.

Facebook and Twitter seem a thing of the past for Generation Z as social media has been replaced by messaging apps such as SnapChat and Instagram for their age group.

The report showed that a third of eight to 11-year-olds use SnapChat, rising to 67% for those aged 16-19, and 63% of that age group use Instagram.

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YouTube is important to younger consumers (John Stillwell/PA)

An emerging trend in social media was for video creation and messaging apps, with new services such as Musical.ly and Dubsmash doing well, as older millennials are thought to be responsible for an app innovation explosion.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of BPI and the Brit Awards, said: “If we are going to prepare for the future of music, we need to better understand Generation Z and the influences that shape their engagement with music.

“These young digital natives are not only important as a key segment of the market, but the way they interact with music helps to unveil trends that will become more widespread among music fans over time.”

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Instagram is pervasive for teens (Kylie Jenner/Instagram)

ERA chief executive Kim Bayley said: “It’s not news that entertainment is changing, but none of us should underestimate the achievement of the streaming revolution.

“Not only has it helped stop piracy in its tracks, it has created the first real growth in the music industry in more than a decade and has done so with an unbeatable consumer proposition: 24/7 access to virtually all the music in the world.

“In the fast-paced digital world, however, nothing is forever and it is vital to stay close to emerging generations of music fans, many of whom were not even born at the dawn of the MP3 age.”

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