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Study: Social media crucial for Gen Z music discovery

March 8, 2023

Research has revealed that consumers want brands to be actively involved in the development of new and emerging musicians.

More than a third (39 per cent) of people expect brands and companies to use the music of emerging artists in their social media posts – and a similar number (34 per cent) expect brands to use the music of emerging artists in their marketing and adverts.

In addition, 33 per cent expect brands and companies to actively sponsor emerging music artists, while 28 per cent would like brands to provide opportunities to meet and engage with artists and musicians.

The Plugged into Music study of 1,600 music fans across five European markets was commissioned by global Representation and Marketing agency Wasserman, which represents and develops partnership and commercial opportunities for a roster of artists in pop, rock, electronic and hip hop.

The research also highlighted how social media has become inextricably intertwined with music, with 36 per cent of people using social platforms to engage with artists and songs. In addition:

  • One in three use social media to share music they like with friends and family.
  • The most popular social media platforms for music discovery is TikTok (35 per cent) followed by Instagram (27 per cent). Meanwhile, 14 per cent use Facebook, 7 per cent WhatsApp, 6 per cent Twitter and 4 per cent use Snapchat.
  • TikTok is the most used social media platform for music discovery among Gen Z (45 per cent of those aged 18-24).

Anna Afolabi, Integrated Strategist at Wasserman, commented: “People have shifted from accepting that brands and properties are involved with their passions, to expecting them to show active and meaningful support for the artists and creators drive them. They rightly see brands as power players when it comes to boosting new and emerging artists. Between social media, streaming and the events of recent years, the ways fans discover and engage with music and artists has evolved. Social is now the channel of choice to engage, whether from new artists or the ones they know and love. Music, marketing and social media have become a vast, interconnected ecosystem.”

The research further revealed that live experiences are still at the heart of music fandom – even more so in the post-pandemic world. Almost all music fans (93 per cent) want to see artists perform live, and 91 per cent would pay to attend a live music event.

In addition, post-Covid behaviours show live experiences are an essential part of music fandom, but the way people engage with them has expanded: nearly half (43 per cent) of people watch more pre-recorded visual live music content since the pandemic.

Music fans also want brands to provide music related experiences, or integrate artists and musicians into their marketing and comms, as a quarter (27 per cent) expect brands and companies to support events and gigs.

Tim Pearson, VP of Brand Partnerships & Corporate Events in Wasserman’s Music department, added: “Live music was unreachable for two years, so it’s no surprise that people desperately wanted to get back to gigs and festivals featuring their favourite acts and getting the chance to see new artists play live for the very first time. This is yet another area where brands and artists can come together to create unparalleled experiences for fans.”

Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Research, Social Media

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