Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Radio’s Generation Gap

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Everyone except the broadcasters themselves knows Radio is in trouble over the long term.  But what will kill the radio star?  For a clue look to Gen Z.  In an NYU study reported by Axios “Teens listening to terrestrial radio has fallen about 50% over a 10-year period”, according to Larry Miller, director of NYU Steinhardt’s music business program.  “Generation Z, which is projected to account for 40% of all consumers in the U.S. by 2020, shows little interest in traditional media, including radio, having grown up in an on-demand digital environment.”

So by 2020 40% of consumers in the US will be listening to half as much radio as previous generations did.  I’d say that’s a problem.  To make matters worse, Gen Z is actually consuming more music than ever.  But they’re doing it via streaming instead of the FM dial.  So radio’s challenge isn’t just to get younger listeners to consume more music – they need to convince Gen Z to come back to radio stations to get the same music they’re already listening to on their streaming service of choice.

I’d say that’s pretty much mission impossible.

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