Music Industry

Boomers still aren’t keen about getting their music through streaming

The amount of songs streamed through the various music services has been steadily increasing for years. However, most of that group is driven by people under age 60. Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), generally speaking, just aren’t into getting their music this way.

According to a new American study by MusicWatch, there are 52 million Boomers using the internet on a regular basis. Only about eight million of them pay for a subscription to a music service.

Digging deeper, only 10% of those Boomers surveyed say that they’re “neutral or unlikely” to subscribe to something like Spotify in the next year. Compare that to 23% of Gen Xers, 44% of Millennials, and 46% of Gen Z.

Why the reluctance? Boomers are happy with their record collections, CDs, and radio. If they do stream, they’re okay with the ad-supported tiers.

Okay, so what? Subs to streaming music services are heading for a plateau. If the sector is to keep growing, then the demo that offers the greatest hope is the Boomer generation. Watch for efforts to bring this demo into the streaming fold.

(Via Music Ally)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38449 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

7 thoughts on “Boomers still aren’t keen about getting their music through streaming

  • Yeah, love my CDs and vinyl.
    It’s music on MY terms.

  • By owning my CDs and albums I will ALWAYS have my music no matter what happens in the future.

  • I won’t lease a car or rent music.

  • One thing not mentioned is the comparably horrible sound of streaming.

    Why pay for the privilege of bad sound? Also, with so much new music being little more than derivative pop, a paid sub makes even less sense. Particularly since Gen X and Boomers already own the music they like.

    Expecting Boomers/Gen X to bail out streaming services is silly. We’re already good with what we have, and what we can access. Streaming is a younger person’s thing.

  • 20 years ago when I wanted to put an old Jefferson Airplane ALBUM onto my IPOD….guess what? It could not be done. It didn’t exist on CD. I digitized it myself with a turntable to PC device. Put it on my IPOD myself. I expect everyone under 60 can get the music they love on a streaming service. Those of us over 60 suspect that they can’t.

  • I’m not a Boomer, but I simply don’t trust streaming services long-term. Catalogues will get restricted and prices will go up, that is absolutely guaranteed. It’s a one-way street. I’ll continue to scour thrift stores for CDs and DVDs so I can retain ownership of my media without fear of any of it being deleted, restricted or geo-blocked.

  • I’m a millennial, and I refuse to move to streaming for the reasons others here have listed.


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