Reports and Webinars are limited to the Region terms of your Pro and Prime subscription, as shown in “Purchased Regions”.

  • To filter all content types to individual Region(s) you have purchased, apply your Region(s) under “Purchased Regions.”

Articles, Video Updates, and News across all Regions are open to all Pro and Prime subscribers.

  • To see this content for any Region, use the “Content Filter”.

Gen Z and Millennials Are Using Social Media to Listen to Music Now

These gens use social media for everything, including listening to music…


  • Social media is the top place Gen Z and Millennials are listening to music
  • Still, nearly half of all young consumers use streaming services, and they’re paying for them
  • The common thread between their favorite music sources is personalization and quality of recommendations

YPulse data shows music is important to Gen Z and Millennials—it’s a core way they express themselves, alter their mood, and even define who they are. But that doesn’t mean they stick to only one kind of music, quite the opposite in fact: 73% of young people agree that they are always trying to discover new music artists. And where better to discover new music than where they already listen most?  

While you know the days of CDs and vinyl are mostly behind Gen Z (save for some nostalgia lovers and collectors), you might be surprised to learn that music streaming platforms are not the top place they listen to music anymore. In our Music report, YPulse asks 13-39-year-olds what services / tech they use to listen to music, and their top response shows they’re changing the music industry norms yet again: 

 Bar chart showing which services / tech gen z and millennials use to listen to music

They’re listening to music more on social media than streaming services 

Yep, that’s right: Gen Z and Millennials are using social media to listen to music more than even streaming services dedicated to music. It might sound counterintuitive, to go to platforms without music players embedded in them (gone are the days of the MySpace profile song) to listen to music, but there’s more options than you’d think. YouTube, of course, has a ton of music on it, being the home to professional music videos and fan uploads. But TikTok is a huge music source as well; the structure of the short videos promotes constantly changing and trending audios, whether new music, remixes, or revivals of old tracks. So, it makes sense that 67% of all young people agree that most of the new music they hear these days is on social media—especially given they’re on TikTok and YouTube more than any other platform.  

But TikTok doesn’t have their own music streaming—at least, not yet. There have been talks of a “TikTok Music” on the horizon, as their parent company ByteDance has filed an application for a U.S. patent on it, and already launched the service in other countries. It could be a strong competitor if it goes through; already, TikTok is the social media platform Gen Z is most likely to say they’ve discovered a song or musician on, at 78% saying they have. It’s even a main tool for new artists now, who advertise themselves and their music on the app, having seen so many become successful from it.  

While social media takes a strong lead for music listening for Gen Z, though, 41% of young consumers overall are using music streaming services. And those who do are paying for them: 34% of Gen Z and 47% of Millennials say they pay for a music streaming service—matching near exactly the number who use them. 

They like platforms that get to know them 

What Gen Z and Millennials’ favorite places to listen to music all have in common is the personalization of the platforms. YouTube and TikTok, being algorithm based, continually get to know their users and suggest new content based on what they interact with most. TikTok especially is known for nailing a user’s content preferences, even suggesting things they’ll like before they themselves know they like it. And because it can be so audio-based in its trends, it’s likely to remain a top source for music discovery and listening. 

But when it comes to streaming services, Spotify is notorious for knowing its users’ music taste, maybe even better than they do. Not only does the platform create daily and weekly playlists tailored to their library, which other streaming services have followed suit on, they’re also consistently integrating other catchy music collabs. They were one of many brands to hop onto the Stranger Things craze, launching an “Upside Down Playlist,” a list of 50 of a user’s favorites which could help “escape Vecna” (if you know, you know). They also had the D’Amelio backed “GetReadyWithMusic” quiz that creates a playlist to match the vibes of your favorite fall ‘fit to get ready to. And, of course, the infamous Spotify Wrapped, which has new features to analyze their listening habits every year and is designed to be shared on social media (even fitting the dimensions of a typical “story” post).