Young people want music choice, suggests new survey

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The Independent Online

A new survey has suggested that traditional radio is being ditched by young people in favor of "build your own" playlist music collections such as iTunes, Pandora or Spotify.

The research, released by UK law firm Olswang, shows that the age-old radio format of "pushing" music and speech needs to be reexamined to appeal to today's youth market.

According to Olswang's poll, almost 61 percent of 13-17 year olds (compared to 38 percent of adults) already access streaming music services on a computer in the home. Almost half (49 percent) would choose to listen to a playlist-based music selection on a long car journey, while just over a quarter (26 percent) would listen to the radio.

"Across all media, convergence is primarily about people taking control over what content they consume and when. That doesn't sit well with traditional radio, where the broadcaster sets the agenda," said John Enser, one of the report's authors. "Today's kids are reacting to that."

Enser believes that in the future, the idea of "radio" will be far less ingrained in children and so music broadcasters will need to look for new ways to engage with their audience and stay relevant.

"Traditional broadcasters must look to turn themselves into trusted guides to music in the new world," he explains. "When users are faced with the choice of what to listen to from a catalogue of millions of tracks, broadcasters can hold onto a taste-making role. We are already seeing radio stations, music magazines and other taste-makers offering their own playlists for others to access. However, at the moment, none of these people are making any money out of this - which will be the challenge for the future."

Listening to streaming music services on-the-move is also far more popular amongst the younger generation, with 28 percent of 13-17 year olds accessing music on their mobile phone. Music download services remain popular amongst both children and adults, with 70 percent of children and 51 percent of adult respondents downloading at home, work or place of study.

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