Hope for the Youth: Music is Still Teens Preferred Media
A recent study by Common Sense Media sheds some light on the media consumption habits of people 8-12 (tweens) and 13-18 (teens), and indicates that while social media makes up a significant percentage of the younger generation's media time, it still lags far behind traditional television and listening to music.
The conclusions of the study may be surprising given the common perception that social media and other online activities dominate young people's lives, but the findings are well supported and unambiguous. Among teens, 73% indicated that they enjoy listening to music "a lot", while the responses were 45% for watching TV, 45% for watching online videos, 42% for playing video games, and 36% for using social media.
I would imagine these numbers would begin to shift significantly for older age groups, as college age people are less likely to pay for cable, and are more likely to rely on social media as their social circles expand beyond their high-school classmates to a wider group of college peers, co-workers, and broader cultural groups. And while music wasn't the main focus of this study, I find it encouraging that music is still a dominant and preferred form of media in young people's lives. While the mainstream of music is a mess of corporate controlled radio and manufactured, focus-grouped pop stars, we have ever expanding access to less known, original artists via Soundcloud, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, etc. […not to mention some great electronic music websites]
I believe art is the lifeblood of culture, and music is probably the most widely available art form in our society. And while finding great music isn't simply a matter of turning on a ClearChannel controlled radio station, young people are empowered, by technology and internet access, to find great music. So I'll sleep a bit better tonight knowing that the generation after me still loves music.
Read the full study from Common Sense Media here: