Why It Matters Where and How Gen Z Girls Listen to Music

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With a lot of focus on the millennial generation (roughly 18- to 34-year-olds) now getting into buying big-ticket items like houses and cars, it’s probably time someone took a look at what the next generation is up to. That would be Gen Z, comprised of children up to age 18 or 19 (the definitions are fluid).

The older part of the group (from about age 11 on up) spends most of their money on cars (including expenses like gasoline and insurance), groceries and entertainment/hobbies. As a whole, Gen Z’s spending power already has reached an annual total of around $143 billion, and they are on track to become the largest generation of consumers by 2020, replacing their predecessor millennials.

Digital media firm Sweety High just published its first-ever report on music consumption and spending by Gen Z girls. The data could help brands make the connection between Gen Z spending and the music they listen to.

Gen Zs primarily discover new music on YouTube and they listen to music on Spotify. According to the research, YouTube is the top platform for music discovery, used by 75% of Gen Zs, but streaming services like Spotify and Pandora are used by 70% for discovery. Social networks like Instagram and Facebook are used by 62% to find new music.

Once they’ve found something they like, Spotify (61%) leads terrestrial radio (55%) and Pandora (51%) as their main listening sources. Apple Music nabs just 25%, although iTunes scores 36% as the go-to place for listening. Interestingly, 38% of Gen Zs still buy CDs and a startlingly 16% buy vinyl records.

Now, about that spending. According to Sweety High, festivals and concerts will see a lot of business. A full 80% expect to attend a live event this year and 36% will pay more than $100 per ticket and 45% will spend less than $100. More than half of Gen Zs over 18 plan to attend up to 10 live events this year, compared to just 38% of those under 18.

Fortune magazine quoted Joe Cardador, vice-president of consumer intelligence at Barkley:

Gen Z females are looking for brands to be innovative and part of their social network, both online and off. This corresponds to their goals of projecting success through bringing new ideas and products to their networks.

Music discovery and consumption appears to offer a significant link between what Gen Zs consume now and what they are likely to consume later.

It is also worth remembering that the survivors of the Parkland, Florida, high-school shooting are Gen Zs and some of the most outspoken and well-spoken are young women. They have amply demonstrated how smart they are about the power of social media and how to use it.