Gen Z Streams Music for Almost 2 Hours A Day

December 20, 2022

While audio listening has shifted slightly towards spoken word in recent years, music still dominates audio time in the US. Paid music streaming subscriptions continue to rise, with ad-supported streaming presenting an opportunity for advertisers. The good news for participating brands is that time spent with streaming music is steadily growing worldwide, per GWI data [download page].

Based on waves of surveys conducted cumulatively among more than 2 million internet users ages 16-24 from Q1 2018 through Q2 2022, GWI reports that music streaming listening time has well and truly surpassed broadcast radio. Whereas in 2018 survey respondents averaged about 19 minutes more listening to music streaming (1:14) than broadcast radio (0:55) each day, by Q2 of 2022 that gap had almost doubled to 36 minutes (1:37 and 1:01, respectively).

That’s almost entirely the result of gradually increasing time spent streaming music, as broadcast radio’s average has remained consistent since 2019.

GWI reports that Gen Z are particularly avid listeners, streaming music for nearly 2 hours each day. That’s encouraging for advertisers seeking to reach a young audience. Research indicates that while digital audio is still funded mostly by subscriptions, ads’ role is forecast to rise in the coming years. Within the US, digital audio was the fastest-growing digital advertising channel in 2021, with its growth rate being 64% higher than the overall total.

Returning to GWI’s study, Spotify reigns as the most popular music service in North America, Europe, APAC, and Latin America, as of Q2 2022. In each case, YouTube Music is the second-most popular, while it leads in the Middle East and Africa region, with Spotify third behind Soundcloud.

The internet-using 16-64-year-olds surveyed in Q2 have differing favorite music genres. Among 16-24-year-olds, Hip-Hop/Rap tops 90s music as the one that most respondents like listening to, while among the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups, the largest proportions say they enjoy listening to 90s music. This reflects a potential nostalgia for the music of their childhoods; indeed, among the 45-54 and 55-64 age brackets, 80s music is the genre that the largest proportions enjoy listening to.

For more, download GWI’s study here.

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