Video Streamed The Radio Star

Posted on Posted in Music, Social Media

US-Teenagers-Digital-Media-UseThis morning, my daughter reached a point in the book she was reading  that confused her and she asked for clarification. A character was “visiting a record shop to buy a tape”. This made no sense. Bemused, she asked me what a ‘record shop’ is and what it means to ‘buy a tape’. I think my awkward explanation about high street stores selling plastic cassettes containing reels of ribbon with music on them sounded even more ridiculous to me than it did to her.

This poignant waypoint on our march of progress coincided with the publication of some delicious data on Management Today’s website today.

Some 7,000 US teenagers on the cusp of graduating were surveyed by Niche to understand their digital media habits. Niche have shared 6 charts covering messaging, video and music usage. The summary graph, showing relative frequency and reach of usage (above) is especially interesting.   Naturally, Hulu, Foursquare and LinkedIn are not ‘down with the kids’ but I was surprised to see how the music streaming services ranked. Beats and Spotify, which I had assumed were ‘hip’ yielded results that were even worse than the baffling banal Pintrest. According to this survey, the clear winner for music by all measures is Pandora.

But a notable flaw in the survey is that YouTube, ranked No.1 for usage in this demographic, is classified exclusively as a ‘video service’. It’s a methodological wrinkle that can be excused. As with many technologies that take off, users have found an unintended way to gain value from this platform. (Remember, it was originally conceived as the ultimate public access TV network.)   Analysis that I’ve seen shows that its playlist function is widely utilized to deliver background music while the images remain largely unwatched. In light of this, YouTube’s controversial plans to introduce a subs based music video service seem very cogent. It’s striking to think that the idea would have seem completely nuts just 5 years ago.

How times change…