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Entertainment & Gaming

10 Gen Z Music Trends

By a Verblio Writer

(969 words)

The face of music is constantly changing and music producers must stay keenly aware of the latest trends of consumers. Generation Z (also referred to as the younger millennials or those up to age 19), along with its musical likes and dislikes, are of great significance to those within the music producing business.

Let’s meet and learn more about the young millennial. Who is Gen Z really?

A 2017 Forbes report gives us an insight into the mind of the millennials as this generation begins to enter the workforce. Number one on the list—technology is a way of life. This comes as no huge surprise, and this aspect of the Gen Z intellect is something companies need to understand when marketing to the new and younger millennial. In few other markets is this as applicable as in the music industry.

A 2017 MIDiA Research report jointly published by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) and Promoting British Music (BPI) addresses the behaviors of Generation Z in the United Kingdom and how this segment of the market will continue to influence the future of the music industry.


1. YouTube Remains a Dominant Entertainment Platform for Gen Z (the Post-Millennial Generation)

Gen Z began using the Internet at a very young age and has grown up with a voracious appetite for the YouTube music video. YouTube usage among Gen Z far outweighs that of older users, especially among 16-19-year-olds. Listeners reportedly not only listen to music on YouTube but they also submit comments on videos along with uploading music of their own.

YouTube has a unique mix of features that continue to draw Gen Z users.

2. Spotify is the Most Widely Used Music App Among 16-19-Year-Olds

After Spotify launched in 2008, it has replaced YouTube as the main music app among the 16-19-year-old group with a 53% weekly penetration compared to 47% for YouTube. TechCrunch reports that Spotify has a subscriber base of over 50 million.

3. Musical Apps will Continue to be a Focus for New Innovation

Gen Z is by far the most tech-savvy generation yet. As the musical appetite of the Millennial Generation and Generation Z continues to grow, so will their desire for musical apps to enrich the listening experience. Those who are involved in developing the technology for musical applications will increase innovations within the industry to keep up with the demand.

4. Snapchat & Instagram are Rising in Use

Of 16-19-year-olds included in this study, 64% use Instagram while 67% are regular Snapchat users. Instagram is the Facebook image-messaging app that allows users to upload images and add filters.

Snapchat is also extremely popular, with features such as disappearing messages and the ability to upload short video clips along with the ability to add filters to content. Instagram and Snapchat provide young users the ability to provide a visual and audio narrative of how their lives unfold for the world to follow along, more often than not involving music they’re listening to, or music preloaded in the filters.

5. Streaming Use is Prominent Among Gen Z

When asked who listened to single tracks while streaming music, 74% of 16-19-year-olds reported they prefer to stream single tracks as opposed to albums. Streaming is beginning to transform the way this generation discovers music with 37% reporting that steaming is their main form of discovering new music. Streaming is becoming the new radio.

6. Messaging Apps are Beginning to Replace Social Media

Business Insider reported in 2016 that messaging apps are now bigger than the social networks. Use of messaging apps has never been more prevalent among the Gen Z crowd and usage is expected to only increase as the technology for messaging apps grows ever more sophisticated.

Messaging apps are no longer just for messaging. They are being utilized as a medium to buy merchandise, connect with brand names, and watch content. (Which include a heavy amount of music-centric merchandise, brand names, and content, as you can probably infer from Gen Z.)

7. Zoella & KSI are Growing Markets

Both Zoella and KSI are growing in popularity and may in fact someday replace YouTube as a preferred method of viewing music clips or videos. Zoella has a subscription pool of over 11 million, while KSI has 16.1 million subscribers.

8. Musical.ly has a Growing Audience Among Gen Z

Musical.ly is a music messaging app. It has a growing audience, with 12% of the 16-19-year-old population reporting using the service. Users are able to upload short music clips of themselves and their friends as they sing, dance, or lip-sync with their choice of soundtrack.

This is the type of product innovation that makes Musical.ly a growing favorite among Gen Z users.

9. Music is the Most Widely Watched form of Content for Gen Z

With all the competing demands of their time, music is still the most widely watched form of content for Gen Z. They now have a choice to access music through multiple platforms including streaming services, social media platforms, and messaging applications. Music is very much part of the social identity for Gen Z.

10. For 16-19-Year-Olds, 85% Say Music is an Important Part of Their Life

Music has been an important part of every generation throughout history and the same is true of Gen Z with 85% saying music plays an important part in their daily lives. With music so dominant in the lives of Gen Z, music marketers have to put their best foot forward. There is an abundance of choices—more than any other previous generation—so if you don’t get it right the first time, you may not get another chance.

Not only is Generation Z an important segment of the music market, but the behaviors, expectations, and attitudes of its members will continue to spread trends among music fans among all genres. Contact us for the latest in trends, technology, and the news within the music industry.

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