Media release: Generation Z: Meet the Young Millennials


THE latest in a regular series of Insight Sessions was held yesterday (27/6), unveiling new music research by Mark Mulligan of MiDiA Research – Generation Z: Meet the Young Millennials.

The report for BPI/ERA explores the music consumption habits and social media behaviour of today’s young Millennials (aged up to 19) and how their engagement across streaming and video platforms and social media and messaging apps, including Instagram, Snapchat and, is shaping longer-term trends.

YouTube still dominates in the social media space

The research finds that, for today’s tweens and teenagers, YouTube is a pervasive platform – not only for new music and content and access to influential YouTubers, like Zoella, but for social engagement also.

YouTube plays a key role as “a video destination, music app, social platform and educational resource rolled into one”.

The rise of messaging apps

Messaging apps – including Snapchat and Instagram – are becoming increasingly important for Generation Z; enabling them to act on their impulse to “live in the moment” and “narrate their lives”.

As such, they help build engagement around music and artist profiles.

More recent apps, like and Dubsmash – video social network apps for video creation and messaging – are also growing in popularity.

This is in part due to a rate of app innovation that is accelerating thanks to the ‘Millennial feedback loop’ of older millennials shaping app experiences for the younger Gen Z.

But don’t forget audio streaming

The research additionally shows that, as teenagers develop as music consumers, they are likely to be drawn to audio streaming services, such as Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music.

This helps to underline another finding highlighted in the report from previous MiDiA research showing that  younger consumers (16-19 years: 67 per cent) are more prepared to pay for music than other age groups (56 per cent).

Streaming is, however, also transforming UK teens’ relationship with music, with Millennials increasingly accessing individual tracks or playlists rather than engaging with artists or albums.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI and 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.”

Kim Bayley, chief executive ERA, 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.”

Notes for editors:

Generation Z: Meet the Young Millennials – summary of key findings:

* 85 per cent of 16-19 year-olds say that music is an important part of their life;

* Authenticity, relevance, shareability and context are key to Gen Z;

* YouTube is the most pervasive entertainment platform for Gen Z, peaking at 94 per cent monthly penetration among 16-19 year-olds;

* However, for these 16-19 year olds, as interest in music develops, audio streaming begins to become hugely popular;

* Music is the most widely watched content type among 12-15 year-olds on YouTube, with YouTubers such as Zoella (11.8m subscribers) and KSI (16.1m) becoming the new pop stars for Gen Z;

* UK teens (16-19 years) are more willing to pay for music. 67 per cent consider it to be worth paying for regularly compared to 56 per cent of overall consumers;

* A third of 8-11 year-olds in the UK use Snapchat, rising to 67 per cent for 16-19 year-olds, while 63 per cent of 16-19 year-olds use Instagram;

* Messaging apps like Snapchat and Instagram are replacing social networks for Gen Z;

* Among 16-19 year-olds, YouTube and social media unsurprisingly dominate, with much higher penetration rates than the overall population;

* Streaming is transforming Gen Z’s relationship with music: 74 per cent of all 16-19 year-olds say they are mainly listening to single tracks and playlists instead of albums; and

* 71 per cent of 16-19 year-olds listen to music radio on an at least monthly basis, three percentage points above the all-ages average.

Read more, here.


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