The British Are Coming…To Teens’ iPods

Adele, Jessie J., Ellie Goulding, and One Direction are not only some of the top artists who’ve taken off in past few years, but they’re also British. The U.S. music scene is filled with artists from the UK who’ve crossed the pond and are shaping American culture. Yes, the U.S. has always appreciated British music from The Beatles to The Rolling Stones (who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year!), but there’s major momentum again where UK artists are making it in America, taking over the charts, and young fans in particular are eagerly embracing them. Millennials are increasingly interested in music discovery and they're turning to England to find out what's next.

So with that in mind, here are 10 British artists who will soon become household names — some even are already! — among teens and twentysomethings:

Rita OraRita Ora - Imagine a young, Eastern European hybrid of Rihanna and Jessie J. That's Rita Ora, who's known for her impressive style as much as her pop, dance, and R&B sounds.

Conor Maynard is often described as the British Justin Bieber; he got his start on YouTube, blends R&B, hip-hop, and pop, and is a teen heartthrob with fans best known as Mayniacs. However, Conor is paving his own way with original sounds and the support of top artists like Ne-Yo and Frank Ocean.

Ed Sheeran is a folk and acoustic artist who’s already made it in the U.S. with sold out shows and an album that hit number one on iTunes when it first debuted. You can expect to hear his name even more in the coming months, especially as he'll be opening for Taylor Swift on her next tour.

Emeli Sandé is a Scottish soul and R&B singer whose voice is a little like Beyonce, Rihanna, and Alicia Keys, but she's a powerhouse in her own right. You may recognize her from her performances at the Opening…

 
 

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“Most of the role models and leaders in my life have been Gen Xers so far."

–Male, 16, WI

Instagram has reached 700 million active users, and its growth has been speeding up. The app hit the new user mark just four months after reaching 600 million, and the introduction of Instagram stories in August may be a major contributor to its accelerated growth. The feature has a reported 200 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 161 million. Overall, Instagram now has twice the user base of Twitter and is quickly approaching the coveted 1 billion user mark that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger have reached. (TechCrunch)

Millennials are using social media and YouTube to decide what to buy. A U.K. study found 32% of 18-24-year-olds are using social media to research their purchase decisions before checking out, and 25% are using video platforms like YouTube. There are also signs they’d like to search for products on social media: 25% of U.K. 18-24-year-olds reported the desire to search media based on their lifestyle and 23% would like search to understand their current mood. These findings, paired with the detailed targeting available to advertisers, are changing the consumer journey from search query to cart. (AdvertisingWeek)

Millennials are keeping 70% of their money in cash, reluctant to invest in anything, from stocks to their own retirement plans—according to new BlackRock research. Clearly impacted by the Great Recession, Millennials are most likely to agree, "What you might earn investing isn't worth the risk of losing your money," and a third say “they learned what not to do with their money” from watching their parents. They also tend to undervalue the potential returns of investments by millions of dollars, which is not good news for their futures—at their current rate, most Millennials will have less than $1 million saved for retirement. (TheStreet)

Influencer marketing is proving its worth. Though marketers have worried about determining ROI with the approach, one report is claiming it’s more effective than advertising alone, showing a direct lift in results rates of up to 30%. Across 450 influencers and 11 campaigns, the expansive research compared results from consumers exposed to ads featuring influencers versus control groups, overwhelmingly showing increased action when an influencer was involved. Good news for marketers, who spent $570 million on influencer marketing on Instagram alone last year. (Adweek)

The Amazon Echo can now help pick your outfit—and tell you when you don’t look good. LED lights and a depth-sensing camera will let the new Echo Look take pictures of any look, and “Style Check” software “combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists” to evaluate which outfit is best, and lets you compare pictures of multiple outfits, from multiple angles. Amazon’s already extensive product recommendations could feasibly be a part of this product’s future—and, if all goes well, a drone will ship the recommended new clothes to your door. (Quartz)

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