Young people more likely to turn to YouTube for music than Spotify or Soundcloud

Over three quarters (83 per cent) of 16-24 year olds use YouTube as a music platform rather than a video platform, research from youth insights consultancy Voxburner has found.

Just over half of respondents (56 per cent) said they used iTunes or the radio to listen to music, while 48 per cent use Spotify and 25 per cent use Soundcloud.

Streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora act as the main way which young people learn about new music, with 56 per cent agreeing to doing this, while 49 per cent will use Facebook for music discovery, and 42 per cent turn to websites.

Mark Adams, music director at Box TV, said: “These numbers support an ever-growing movement towards digital music consumption for both music video and audio. Unsurprisingly media companies are already embracing this shift and investing hugely in their digital products, companies like Spotify and YouTube are delivering immediate access to music but do the numbers here suggest that this is having a huge impact on music sales? I think yes, but this is counteracted by a sharp increase in streams (now included in the top 40 – at last!)”

It was found by Voxburner that 55 per cent of 16-24s purchase music a few times a year or never. Only 16 per cent of young people said that they purchase music at least once a week, compared to 65 per cent who stream music at least once a week.

Luke Mitchell, head of insights at Voxburner, said: “Music remains an important interest among young people and at a time of discovery, identity development and high social activity, it can be defining. Having access to any kind of music with no cost attached means that 16-24s can afford to be experimental and curate music bespoke to their tastes.

“Radio remains useful - something the radio industry will be pleased to hear as it continues to cope with the disruption of digital - but is used along with streaming services like Spotify and YouTube, as well as iTunes. Young people are able to discover music more independently as well as through friends on Facebook rather than through the pages of magazines.”

Only 12 per cent of respondents admit to downloading music illegally at least once a week.