All the signs have pointed to YouTube’s dominance in music delivery having peaked in the last 6 months, and now it looks like we have some confirmation. Midea Research did a deep dive into the technology and media trends of Gen Z (kids age 16 to 19) in the UK, and came up with some interesting trends. While the report covers all aspects of media consumption by that demographic and younger, the most eye-opening is Spotify versus YouTube.
A amazing 94% of UK 16-19 year olds use YouTube every month, and even among 12-15 year olds, the rate is 87%. The fact of the matter is, they’re using it for a lot more than music, as it’s an ongoing source of general entertainment. Even with that sort of penetration though, Spotify has overtaken YouTube as the primary music app for Gen Z in the UK. In December 2016, 53% of UK 16-19 year olds used Spotify weekly compared to 47% for YouTube, and no other streaming service, paid or free, came close.
The big thing here is that the UK teens are now using Spotify as an all-encompassing term for streaming the way Kleenex is used for facial tissue. Plus it seems that a generation of kids just starting school and already steeped in technology have adopted Spotify as their own, the way others before them have claimed Snapchat or Instagram, to name a few.
Since the time of the survey, the lead that Spotify has over YouTube seems to have grown even further, according to Midea. Now 71% of 16-19 year olds are using Spotify weekly, though YouTube is also up slightly to 52%. Here’s the thing though – that doesn’t mean that they’re paying for it! Most of these kids are still on the free tier.
All that being said, the UK is the only country where any of this is happening with Gen Z. In all other countries surveyed (US, Australia, Canada), YouTube is still in the lead, but this survey could indicate a trend in which the UK leads and the others eventually follow.