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  • Survey conducted by Key Production reveals over half (59 per cent) of 18-24 year olds are listening to physical music - more than any other age group

  • CD purchases also recorded highest amongst youngest age range and Gen Z more willing to pay more for sustainable music

  • Saturday 20th April marks Record Store Day - the annual celebration of record stores and physical music

 

A recent survey exploring music listening and buying behaviour has revealed that the proportion of people listening to physical music is greatest amongst Generation Z (ages 18-24).

The research, conducted by Key Production, the UK’s leading bespoke packaging agency for vinyl, CD and cassettes, found that over half (59 per cent) of the 18-24 age group surveyed listen to either vinyl, CD or cassette at least once a week. Significantly, this was proportionally greater within this age range compared to the 25-34, 35-44, 45-54 and 55-65 age groups - which all reported between 40-45 per cent. Furthermore, when asked about purchasing physical music albums, the highest proportion of those buying CDs is within the 18-24 bracket (34 per cent) alongside the 45-54 age group (34 per cent) - which is perhaps more expected. 

This insight into the younger generations’ music consumption follows the annual reports from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the Digital and Entertainment Retail Association (ERA) which revealed that physical music sales continue to grow in the UK - with vinyl sales increasing for a 16th consecutive year and CDs reporting its best year in 20 years.

Ahead of Record Store Day this Saturday, the annual celebration of record stores and physical music across the UK, this latest research supports the ongoing trend of physical music popularity - but shows that it’s not just older generations listening to and buying physical music.

Karen Emanuel, CEO of Key Production said: “It’s hugely promising to see younger generations listening to physical music. We know vinyl and CDs are popular again but it’s encouraging that it’s not the generations who grew up with them! From the warmer audio quality, to the beautiful artwork and holding a physical record in your hands - buying physical music formats just can’t be matched and it makes me happy that younger people recognise this too and are embracing the analogue music experience.”

What’s more - the survey found that between all the age ranges, 18-24 year olds are more willing to pay a small premium on buying vinyl LPs if the records were to be produced with a proven reduced impact on the planet (71 per cent). The willingness to pay a premium on more sustainable products among the older age groups was also considerable, however to a lesser degree (25-34 year olds - 54 per cent / 35-44 & 45-54 year olds - 45 per cent / 55-65 year olds - 41 per cent).

This finding comes ahead of Earth Day on Monday and during a time when the environmental impact of vinyl production is being discussed across the music industry - with singer Billie Eilish recently questioning the music industry’s attitudes towards producing multiple varieties of vinyl releases and announcing an eco-friendly album plan.

Seeing that younger music consumers are more willing to pay a bit more for environmentally friendly music is really significant”, Karen Emanuel continues. “There’s been a lot of discussion recently about the environmental footprint of vinyl production. As a B Corp, we know records can be produced more sustainably and most importantly now we know younger listeners are willing to support this.”

Key Production is a Certified B Corp and works with music industry bodies ensuring the best practices for sustainability within physical music production are met throughout the whole supply chain. Founded in 1990, the London-based company is best known for its work with artists such as Nick Cave, Alt-J, IDLES, Little Simz, Ezra Collective, PJ Harvey and Raye on her Brit Award winning album - amongst many more.

 

For more information, visit keyproduction.co.uk.

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28 May 2024

  • What Suno's $125m round means for AI & music (see Comment)

  • What the General Election could mean for the music business, ticketing, AI and big tech (see Analysis)

24 May 2024

  • The Ivors: Winners announced (see News)

  • Is the music business too afraid of big, bad AI? (see Opinion)

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23 May 2024

  • Are kids losing their love for music? (see Comment)

  • Apple’s 100 Best Albums list is ridiculous and exists almost expressly to make you mad (see News)

22 May 2024

  • Apple is not the only one crushing the old music-making paradigm (see Comment)

21 May 2024

  • Government says it will bring forward AI training rules (see News)

20 May 2024

  • Music rightsholders reach their ‘or what?’ moment with AI (see Comment)

17 May 2024

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  • How the music industry is in a new age of arrogance (see Opinion)

16 May 2024

  • Rajars Q1 - commercial radio on the rise (see Media)

15 May 2024

  • Musicians share stories about struggling to make ends (see Features)

14 May 2024

  • Proper enters new era (see Business)

  • A perspective on the health of the UK's live industry (see Features)