Gen Z & Millennials Told Us Their 22 Favorite Music Artists

Who are the most popular stars in music right now? We asked 13-36-year-olds to tell us their favorites...

Music is a major conduit for brands to connect with young consumers. Almost seven in ten 13-36-year-olds tell us they listen to music all day long. That’s a serious opportunity to reach them directly, whether it’s via the streaming apps that Gen Z and Millennials are hooked on or the music videos they’re constantly watching. Keeping tabs on their musical preferences, consumption, and interests is perhaps more important than ever.

Of course, their love of music also means a serious devotion to musicians—they are the top type of celebrity young consumers follow on social media, as well as the kind of celebrity they say they admire the most and that have the most talent when compared to other types of stars. In our recent survey on music taste and consumption, 45% of 13-36-year-olds told us that they’re part of a music fandom, and 57% agreed with the statement, “I'm interested in my favorite musicians' personal lives, not just their music.” We found out exactly who those favorite musicians are right now when we asked, “Who is your favorite celebrity in music? (This could be a music artist, group, producer, etc.).” It’s important to note that the results were incredibly fragmented. Nearly 70% of the over 400 musicians listed were named by just one respondent, indicating that in a world of niche music fandoms, it takes a lot for a musician to garner a large following. These are the names with enough star power to make it to the top of the ranking:

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of music celebrities that Gen Z and Millennial consumers consider their favorites—without our preconceived ideas shaping their responses. As with any qualitative…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Time I could be sleeping is time I spend on social media. It's now part of my waking up and going to sleep routine and, for those reasons, I'm feeling done with social media."—Male, 24, CA

MasterCard created an audio-only logo for Generation Voice Activated. The finance brand has debuted a sound they’ll play when people check out using their MasterCard. YPulse data shows that 29% of 18-36-year-olds own a smart speaker device, and that number is only expected to grow along with the use of other audio-activated devices. MasterCard wants to make their brand memorable without visual cues to tap into the $40 billion in revenue voice shopping is expected to generate by 2022. (Fast Company)

Brands are acting uncannily human on Twitter—is it working? Many brands (mainly the food and beverage kind) are “behav[ing] like real people with idiosyncratic personalities” on social media to connect with young consumers. This allows them to “stand out it in a crowded marketplace," explains one marketing professor. And Twitter users are engaging: from Sunny D to Steak-umm, brands are going viral for nihilist, and even depressing, first-person posts. (Vice)

Millennials are buying more greeting cards this Valentine’s Day. The National Retail Federation estimates the industry made as much as $933 million yesterday, compared to $894 million last year. Experts say that Millennials are behind the boost as they buy more expensive, albeit fewer, cards that often have personalized flourishes and functions (like audio). They’re also opting for IRL cards over e-cards because, as one enthusiast explains, "I like giving cards because you can hold it, unlike a text or email.” (NPR)

Brands went beyond romantic messaging for Valentine’s Day this year. Some catered to Millennials’ Treat Yo’Self mentality with collaborations like Tinder and Homesick’s “Single, Not Sorry” candle, while others celebrated Galentine’s Day. Target stocked themed decorations for those hosting girls-only get-togethers and Kay Jewelers set aside a site category for Galentine’s Day gifts. Finally, the NRF estimates that pet owners spent $886 million on their furry friends on Valentine’s Day, and retailers like PetSmart advertised accordingly. (ContentStandard)

More college grads are taking on retail jobs as stores up the ante for new hires. Yes, the trend is fueled by student debt and other financial factors, but also because stores that focus on experience expect more than ever from their customer service reps. Workers at Sweaty Betty, Everlane, and Warby Parker are reportedly trained with workshops, tests, and homework. But while, as one expert explains, “Customers are also coming in with much higher expectations of what level of service they’re going to receive,” retail wages aren’t keeping pace. (Refinery29)

Quote of the Day: “The best thing about social media is to connect with people across geographical boundaries and cultures. I love interacting with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”—Female, 22, PA

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