Radio still appeals to young music fans, with nearly 60% of Gen Z saying they listen to music-formatted radio stations, according to MRC's recent Data U.S. Music 360 report. Radio is also the number one source for music discovery among the demo, followed by video and/or streaming services and friends and relatives.
“When we look at overall engagement with music, even though radio declined, it was still the number one music discovery source,” MRC Senior Account Manager Paulina Pchelin says. “Although we saw [other] shifts in the last year, the sources people use for [music] discovery were similar when compared to prior years.”
According to MRC's report, 59% of those polled between July 12-27 use broadcast radio monthly, while 61% use streaming audio and playlists and 62% listen, and watch, via streaming music video services.
Social platforms continue to influence music discovery. In the latest survey, 49% of Gen Z music listeners cite TikTok as a source for finding new artists. Meanwhile, 59% of respondents say they stream videos on short-clip video sites. Video games continue to influence younger music fans’ music discovery, with 28% of Gen Z music fans using video games to find new music, tying TV as a source for music discovery. “One of the key findings over the last year is that people wanted something new,” Pchelin says. “What we mean by new is not [necessarily] new releases: we saw people going back to content from decades ago, so things that were new to them.”
Gen Z is also scooping up vinyl when they put down money to buy music, with 15% of those polled saying they have purchased a vinyl record in the past 12 months, vs. 11% of millennials. The demo is more likely than the average music listener to have purchased vinyl in the past year, a finding MRC attributes not to older artists but Gen Z-targeted acts such as Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo, each of whom sold more than 70,000 vinyl copies of their latest album in its first week of release earlier this summer. “They are [still] very interested in new and emerging artists,” MRC VP and Head of Research Matt Yazge says. “Olivia Rodrigo is taking that all the way to the bank.”