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3 Stats on Gen Z, Millennials, and the Future of Livestream Events

Livestream and virtual events have been everywhere in the last year, but are young consumers really interested? These stats paint a clearer picture…


Live content has become essential in the last year in-lieu of in-person events. When venues were forced to shut down last spring, lifestyle brands and social platforms stepped in and helped celebrate some of Gen Z’s milestones by hosting livestreamed proms and graduation ceremonies. Sports leagues and athletes pivoted to alternative ways to reach young sports fans through live esports tournaments, while popular gaming platforms like Fortnite and Roblox brought in millions of viewers when they tapped popular music artists like Travis Scott, Lil Nas X, and most recently Ariana Grande, for virtual concerts. Livestreaming has also infiltrated the shopping and retail space too as brands tailor to young consumers’ growing interest in shoppable livestreams.

But how do young consumers really feel about livestreaming—and how can brands continue to reach them in this way? Our recent Future of Experience trend survey looked at what young consumers want out of events in the future, and if virtual events have a post-COVID future. Here are three stats that show how popular  livestream events have become among Gen Z and Millennials and whether it will continue to be popular as time goes on:

More than half of young consumers say they have attended a livestream event at home.
The majority of young people have attended a livestream event, showing just how popular these experiences have become. Fifty-six percent of 13-39-year-olds say they have attended an event through a livestream at home, while 70% who have attended a livestream say they did so during lockdowns. Gen Z males are the most likely to attend a livestream event, with 62% of the group saying they have. When most major venues were forced to cancel events, many brands and artists either postponed their events or quickly found ways to still reach their young fans. These events are also capturing their prolonged attention: Over two in five of 13-39-year-olds who have attended a livestream say they watched the entire livestream. And while there were many kinds of virtual events to choose from in the last year and a half, virtual concerts are definitely the most popular…

Over a quarter of young consumers have attended a livestream concert.
When we asked young consumers in our special report on hobbies and pastimes in quarantine if they livestreamed concerts or events, only 9% of 13-39-year-old say they did. But that number has clearly increased since. Twenty-six percent of 13-39-year-olds now say they have attended a livestream concert, and 19% reported that they have attended a concert or music fest through a livestream in the last year. Meanwhile our upcoming music behavioral report found that 14% say they have spent money on a live stream concert ticket in the last year. Concerts are by far the most popular type of livestream event among young consumers who have attended—and they had plenty of choices in the last year. Last spring, music artists started hosting their own livestream concerts on Instagram, Twitch, Stageit, Gimme Radio, and other platforms, before brands started catching onto the trend. One of the first branded livestream concerts came from Global Citizen who teamed up with musicians like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, and many more to donate toward COVID-19 efforts. And we’ve already told you about the successful virtual concerts on Fortnite, Roblox, and TikTok, that brought in millions of views last year. But livestreamed concerts and events are still going strong even now: There was of course, Ariana Grande’s Rift Tour on Fortnite, Sprite’s Live from the Label concert series, and Spotify’s Virtual Concert Experience that kicked off earlier this month. Then, there was the livestream of Kanye West’s album listening party, which reportedly broke the Apple Music Global Livestream record. Need further proof that young consumers want to attend virtual concerts? Our upcoming music behavioral data found that 27% of 13-39-year-olds are interested in attending a livestream concert, while 57% say they’re interested in watching livestreamed concerts or festivals they can’t attend in-person—indicating that while in-person concerts and tours are starting to come back, the interest in attending a virtual or livestream concert is still very much there. Which brings us to…

More than half of young consumers want to attend virtual events in the next six months.

It’s evident that livestream concerts and events aren’t going away anytime soon, and their interest in them is long-term, with 56% of 13-39-year-olds interested in attending virtual concerts in the next 6 months.. While some music festivals, concerts, sporting events, and other live events started up again IRL this summer, concerns around the Delta variant and surging COVID-19 cases still linger across various industries have forced many acts to further postpone or cancel their events again, which further highlights the need for livestreamed events for a while. But our upcoming behavioral survey also found that 43% of 13-39-year-olds say that even if COVID-19 weren’t happening, they would rather go to a livestream concert than go to one in-person, while our trend research found that half of young consumers attended a livestream event before lockdowns. Pre-pandemic, Gen Z and Millennials were already homebodies, and their top reasons for liking livestream events actually have nothing to do with COVID. ​​When we ask why young people are interested in attending virtual events, their top answers were that these events are less expensive or free to attend and that they can experience them without going anywhere. In short, reasons that will continue to exist after COVID’s end, which sets livestream events up to be part of young consumers’ entertainment for the long haul.

YPulse Business users can access the full Future of Experience trend report and data here and our upcoming Music behavioral report in November!

Don’t have a YPulse Business account? Find out more here.