Listening to music – it is an activity that most people like to participate in…provided it is the kind of music they enjoy. The delivery of music has certainly changed over the years – at one time, we had only vinyl records or an AM Radio to listen to with more commercials than songs playing. Music advanced to FM Radio with barely any commercials, and hardware wise music changed from vinyl to 8-track tapes to cassette tapes, Compact Discs, to finally hard drives or thumb drives. Portability became a primary factor as iPods and Sony Walkman’s reigned supreme. However, enter the world of a smartphone – able not only to make phone calls but also to hold music in its internal memory. Let’s take it a step further – the cloud – where you can store your pictures and music and use any device to access them.
The study shows that 56-percent of teens and millennials listen to music on their smartphones in any given week. The study indicates that streaming AM/FM type music from a service, such as Spotify, Slacker Radio, Pandora, Google Play Music, etc. is growing as more and more teens and millennials (18-34) enjoy listening to music on the go. Streaming is becoming more popular – although over-the-air AM/FM services still dominate how Canadians listen to music. It is also the number one way they discover new groups, singers, and songs – not to mention live concerts. Word-of-mouth by teens is number one way they learn about new music – 58-percent.
The way we listen to music is rapidly changing – and while many prefer streaming from a library rather than buying individual songs, apparently, the biggest obstacle is pricing and ease of use. Between 2015 and 2016, listening to music on a smartphone has increased from 29-percent to 34-percent – even tablets increase 2-percent. However, the traditional methods – Home Stereo, Pocket Player, Radio, and PC all stayed the same or decreased in the same year. What are Canadians listening to – the study shows that for all music listeners, they fall in this order – Classic Rock, Oldies, and Pop/Top 40. For Millennials – Alternative Rock, Pop/Top 40, and a tie for third place goes to Classic Rock/Hip Hop. The Teen crowd goes for Pop/Top 40, Hip Hop, and Alternative Rock.
The study clearly showed that growth in paid streaming comes from the male, non-white teens, and millennials. In the next six months, 60-percent of those that said they would subscribe to a streaming service are male, and the majority of them are millennials. Another driving factor in the increase in streaming radio is that live concert advertisements are heavily advertised on streaming radio and Canada has seen an increase in attendance because of this advertising.