Music Industry

Canadian Music Fans Will Pay for Streaming Service If Not Too Costly

A little over half of Canadian teens and Millennials listen to music on their smartphones in a regular week. According to Nielsen, as music consumption moves more to mobile devices, especially for teens and Millennials, more music is being discovered by fans from online and app streaming services operated by AM/FM radio stations. However, traditional, “over the air” AM/FM stations are still the top way for Canadians, most notably Millennials, to discover new music.

Canadians also learn about live music events from the radio. Over half of music fans say that they hear about live events through ads and shows on the radio. This year alone, 35% of people aware of festivals have attended at least one, up 6% from last year. This shows that promoting festivals on-air is an effective way to get music lovers to buy tickets. However, teens discover music by word-of-mouth from friends and family more than any other way.


Contemporary rock and hip-hop have grown in their share of listenership by over 4% in the past year, becoming favourite genres for Canadians. According to Nielsen:

“[the] top three music genres for Millennials and teens (in no particular order) include Alternative Rock, Pop/Top 40 and Hip-Hop. Over the past year, their musical preferences are reflected in the popularity of local artists like Drake, Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, Shawn Mendes and The Weeknd”.

As listening on-the-go becomes more popular, listeners are spending more time using streaming services. The most important thing for Canadians when selecting a streaming service is the cost and how easy it is to use. Nine percent of all Canadians, and 16% of teens and Millennials, who currently do not pay for streaming say that they are likely to subscribe within half a year. Unsurprisingly, the top reason to not subscribe to a streaming service is the cost.

Interestingly, however, the increase in paid streaming is from non-white, male teens and Millennials. As Nielsen comments:
“In fact, 60% of those who are likely to subscribe to a paid streaming service in the next six months are male, and the majority fall into the Millennial age group (18-34). It appears that a greater exposure to live music events (attending festivals, concerts, etc.) helps motivate fans to pay for streaming”.

Overall, there is opportunity for paid streaming services among young Canadian music fans, so long as the music library is good, it’s easy to use, and the price is right.

3 thoughts on “Canadian Music Fans Will Pay for Streaming Service If Not Too Costly

  • I don’t believe this, complete crap There’s no way the younger demo is finding out about live music events from radio- except for the top major market Beiber/Beyonce type acts. No way!
    Radio doesn’t mention ANYTHING about any show they aren’t a sponsor of. And even festival shows with multitudes of acts, radio stations only mention bands they play on their station (even if the bands they play are breakfast/parking lot bands who barely make the gig poster, they will only mention those bands- it’s ridiculous).
    I’m way out of that demo, but I find all my live gig info from social media, band sites, music blogs, apps like Songkick, and from following the bands on the web. The best live Toronto info is from the underground web radio station- TRP. AM/FM Radio is useless for this today. Listen to an old soundcheck from cfny when they do concert listings- you’d never hear that on radio today.

    Nerhys- Honestly, you are in this demo, do you really buy this article?

    • I’ll admit that I was surprised at the data. I do suspect that the live events that are referred to are mainly festivals and big name acts rather than underground shows and non-sponsored events. I find out about of concerts and events online, but I’m not sure if that’s because I’m purposefully looking for them to talk about when I do on-air shifts on my college campus station. I do make sure to talk about lots of smaller shows! However, I’m not yet working in commercial radio and I can’t argue that it has changed from even when I was growing up.
      Thank you for your comment!

  • Pingback: A Journal of Musical ThingsCanadians Lag Behind in Consumption of Music, Adoption of Paid Services - A Journal of Musical Things

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