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What Moves Today’s Teenage Canadian Music Fan?

2 minute read | June 2015

Canadian consumers love music, and they’re spending more time with it in more ways. This is particularly the case with Canadian teens. According to Nielsen’s Music 360 Canada report, consumers in Canada report listening to 20% more music than they did in 2013. For teens, the lift is even higher at 40%. What’s driving the surge? Music consumption on tablets and smartphones, which is at an all-time high, and growth in streaming.

While 90% of Canadians report listening to 24 hours of music a week, 95% of Canadian teens listen to an average of 31 hours. Most Canadians listen to music in the background while doing other activities, especially teens, who spend one-third of their music time doing other things, like playing video games, reading and surfing the Internet.

As they are everywhere, technological shifts are affecting music consumption in Canada. For example, streaming volume is up 94% since Nielsen began tracking streaming activity in July 2014. The number of Canadians who report streaming music in the past year has grown to 71%, with teens spending twice as much time streaming music as the general Canadian population. However, Francophone Canadians generally stream less than the overall population.

Both teens and Millennials value the social aspects of streaming services, and teens are especially inclined to discover music through friends or relatives. Free video streaming is the key driver to how teens discover new music, although on the whole, radio remains the top format for discovery, as two-thirds of Canadians use radio to discover new music.

Among music listeners, at least half of all smartphone and computer owners use a digital music service on their device. Seventy-four percent of Canadian teens own a smartphone, and they’re more likely to use these devices to listen to music than other generational groups. And what are they listening to? While most music listeners in Canada select rock or pop, Canadian teens are listening to dance, hip hop and rap.


The Nielsen Music 360 Canada Study is a comprehensive in-depth study of consumer interaction with music in Canada. Data for the study was collected April 12-27, 2015 among 3,500 consumers ages 13+. Surveys were conducted online using a third party panel and data was weighted to the Canadian census population based on age, gender, race, education and household size.

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