16-24 year olds prefer music streaming over radio

Streaming was recently incorporated into the Official Singles Chart

A new report has found that British 16-24 year olds prefer music streaming over listening to the radio.

Findings by Ofcom have shown that 30% of young people choose to listen to music via streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer, over 24% who listen to music via the radio. However, 65% of 25-34 year olds listen to the radio compared to just 4% listening to music through streaming sites. The data was found by monitoring the listening habits of 17,290 Brits over one week.

The study also found that 30% of 16-24 year olds listen to music on devices such as phones and laptops compared to 5% who listen to music on physical formats like CD or vinyl. Again, findings for the next age bracket differed, with 14% listening on digital devices and 8% listening to physical formats.

Earlier this year the Official Charts Company incorporated streaming into the singles chart. The chart now incorporates plays from services including Spotify, Deezer, Napster, O2 Tracks, rara, Sony’s Music Unlimited and X Box Music.

Official Charts Company boss Martin Talbot told NME that the move was prompted by shifts in the way the public consumes music. “About six months ago, we began to seriously start thinking about doing this. We’ve seen such an upsurge in streaming figures, it became clear we needed to act. Streams have grown from 100 million a week in January 2013 to 260 million now.”

He added: “Streaming is a progression from downloads in the same way that downloads took over from CD and vinyl. The charts have always reflected consumers’ consumption of the most popular songs every week. Moving forward, to have a chart that’s meaningful, streaming needs to be incorporated.”

It was a landmark change for the British chart, which has – since 1952 – ranked tracks by sales alone. Under the new system, 100 streams of a song will count for the same as one purchase. A song must be streamed for 30 seconds before it counts as a stream. “We decided to go with a round number because it’s easy to understand – there’s a transparency about the chart which we wanted to maintain,” said Talbot.

There are currently no plans to incorporate streaming into the Albums Chart.