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You Stream, I Stream, We All Stream: The Paid Streaming Opportunity in Canada

2 minute read | June 2016

In Canada, 56% of teens and Millennials listen to music on their smartphones in a typical week. As music consumption–especially among these groups–moves to mobile devices, consumers are increasingly discovering music from online and app streaming services operated by AM/FM radio stations. That said however, “over the air” AM/FM radio still dominates how Canadians discover new music, especially Millennials.

Radio is also important in the discovery of live music events, as more than half of music fans say they hear about performances through radio ads and radio shows. In 2016, 35% of those who are aware of festivals have attended at least one—up from 29% just a year ago—indicating that festival promotional efforts are effective and getting music lovers to turn-out. For teens, however, the top method of discovery is word-of-mouth, as 58% of them discovering new music via friends or family.

So what are Canadian music fans listening to? More and more, it’s contemporary rock and hip-hop, as these genres have grown their share of listenership by more than 4 percentage points over the past 12 months. The top three music genres for Millennials and teens (in no particular order) include Alternative Rock, Pop/Top 40 and Hip-Hop. Over the past year, their musical preferences are reflected in the popularity of local artists like Drake, Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, Shawn Mendes and The Weeknd.

With the growing popularity of listening on the go, consumers are allocating more of their time using streaming services. Teens spend 37% of their time with music using streaming services. When selecting a music streaming service, cost and ease of use are most important. Nine percent of Canadians (compared to 16% of teens and Millennials) that currently do not pay for streaming indicate they are likely to subscribe in the next six months. The most common reason to not subscribe, is the price.

The growth in paid streaming is disproportionately driven by male, non-white teens and Millennials. In fact, 60% of those who are likely to subscribe to a paid streaming service in the next six months are male, and the majority fall into the Millennial age group (18-34). It appears that a greater exposure to live music events (attending festivals, concerts, etc.) helps motivate fans to pay for streaming.

In summary, young Canadian music fans will pay for streaming if it’s affordable and the service is easy to use. A services’ song library is of particular importance to Millennials as they decide whether to subscribe to a streaming service.

To learn more, download the highlights from the Nielsen Music 360 Canada Report.

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