Biletomat.pl undertook a nationwide, representative research study on how 18–34-year-olds (split into two age groups: 18–24 and 25–34) consume music, their tastes, and what drives their decisions. The “Young People and Music” survey revealed Generation Z’s unique behaviors and cultural trends.
The Significance of Music for Youth
One participant in the study expressed: “I would say that music is my passion because it is connected to the past. I would never give up on music. I’d rather die than not listen to music. I would never give it up” (Kasia, 18 years old). Patrycja (22 years old) wrote: “If there was no music, a part of me would be missing.” These two statements highlight how incredibly important music is for the younger generation. Music has become one of the most crucial parts of their lives.
Data from the study indicates the significance of music in the lives of the younger generation:
- 66% consider music important in their lives.
This significant percentage acknowledges that music plays a crucial role in their daily functioning. Nearly half of respondents say music is their passion, demonstrating that many young people use it as a method to be engaged and interested. This sentiment is particularly pronounced among 18–24-year-olds (73%).
- 48% consider music their passion.
Close to half of the respondents consider music their passion, suggesting that, for many young people, music is not just a way to spend time but also a source of deep engagement and interest. This sentiment is particularly pronounced among 18–24-year-olds (56%).
This approach may be associated with active participation in musical culture, music creation, or gathering information about favorite artists. These data emphasize the significant impact of music on the lives of the younger generation, both emotionally and in terms of passive participation. Music not only provides entertainment but also serves as a crucial element in their identity and self-expression. It can also influence their cultural choices and decisions regarding how they spend their free time.
Support for Music Artists
According to the data from the report, the results regarding support for music artists are quite surprising. The question asked was, “Have you ever supported music artists?”
- 70% answered NO: A whopping 70% of respondents declared that they do not actively engage in financially supporting their favorite performers. This suggests that young music consumers may not actively contribute financially to their favorite artists.
- 13% answered YES, a few times: Only 13% of respondents admitted to supporting music artists a few times. This is a smaller group that seems to have some level of engagement, although it is not a regular practice.
- 8% answered YES, once: 8% of respondents declared that they supported music artists only once. This indicates a sporadic approach to support.
- 2% answered YES, regularly: A small group, only 2%, claims to regularly support music artists. While this is a minimal level of support, it suggests the existence of a group of young people who actively engage financially with their favorite artists.
These results show that young people are diverse in their approach to supporting music artists, with the majority not appearing to take regular actions in this regard.
This is crucial information for the music industry, suggesting that the financial support model for artists may need reconsideration to better align with the preferences and behaviors of the younger generation.
Where Young People Seek Music
Respondents unanimously pointed to social media as the best place to discover and share music with friends. Platforms such as YouTube (99%), Facebook (97%), Instagram (82%), and TikTok (59%) dominate their sources of musical exploration. Young people most frequently use YouTube, considering it the most important platform for listening to music for free and interacting with others. In the 18–24 age group, Instagram and TikTok are significantly more popular compared to the older group of respondents.
“Music is my support and understanding” (Patrycja, 22 years old).
According to the study results, respondents aged 18–34 exhibit diversity in their musical preferences. The main music genres that are popular among the younger generation include:
- Pop (79%): The most popular music genre among young respondents is pop. This high percentage indicates a widespread interest in songs that are often present in mainstream music.
- Rap (59%): Another popular genre is rap, which has gained considerable popularity among young listeners. Lyrics telling stories, rhythmic battles, and originality are attractive features of this genre.
- Rock (50%): The rock genre also enjoys significant popularity among the younger generation. Rock encompasses variations from classic rock to indie rock, allowing for diversity among fans of this genre.
- Dance (47%): Dance music, with dynamic rhythms and electronic sounds, also finds its place in the hearts of young listeners. This genre is often associated with a party atmosphere and positive emotions.
These music preferences show that young people are open to a variety of genres and appreciate different musical styles. Differences in choices may reflect individual tastes but also the influence of social media, where musical trends often shape and spread.
Listening to Music
Listening to music is an integral part of the daily lives of young people. 74% of them listen to music several times a day, and 46% even listen to it dozens of times a day.
While 10% of respondents aged 18–24 like to listen to music with friends, a significant 72% prefer listening to music alone. This preference is related to relaxation and detachment. Listening to music in a larger group can generate tension.
Live Music: Worth Every Penny or Not Worth My Money?
For young people, live music holds significant importance. 66% consider concerts an integral part of their lives, although there is a division. Some are willing to pay any price to attend organized concerts, while others believe it’s a waste of money.
“Being at a concert is not just listening to music – it’s an experience” (Patrycja, 22 years old).
Music as Support and Therapy
It is worth emphasizing that for young people, music is not just entertainment but also a support in difficult moments of life. 59% believe that music evokes strong emotions (this sentiment is significantly more common among 18–24-year-olds (65%) and women (65%)), and for 35%, it is more important than watching TV, movies, or reading books [this sentiment is significantly more common among 18–24-year-olds (40%)]. For 41% of them, headphones are an essential item when leaving the house.
The “Young People and Music” report conducted in 2023 by Biletomat.pl in collaboration with the research firm “Ciekawość” (Curiosity) shows that music is an inherent part of the lives of the younger generation. It is not just a form of entertainment but also a means of expression, support, and even therapy. Social media, especially YouTube, play a crucial role in shaping their musical preferences and interests.
For young people, music is not just sounds; it is an experience that influences their daily lives and emotions. Many of the younger generation cannot imagine life without music!
I wonder what it looks like outside Poland. Will the results of Polish research be confirmed in young people in other countries?
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