The video is often secondary (here, a still photo displays throughout the song). YouTube's just the easiest place to hear what you want for free.
Remember when I wondered where kids were hearing current music enough to get to like it? Actually, to explain: I initially wrote a post that rated recent music at the low end of a zero-to-five scale, but after listening to the same music over and over for awhile, came back and upgraded some of the tracks. Then I realized that I loved the older music because I heard it everywhere I went back in the day. And I was wondering where kids were hearing music so much today that it was becoming an acquired taste, because it was generally out of my hearing.
Yes, I know, they’re listening on earbuds, but from what sources? MP3 players? Stuff passed to them by friends via social media? Where?
Part of an answer comes from this piece the other day in the WSJ:
Among the issues dividing teenagers and their parents, add whether to listen to music on YouTube or on CD.
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. teenagers under the age of 18 say they use Google Inc.’sGOOG +0.65% video-sharing site to listen to music, more than any other medium, according to a new consumer survey from Nielsen Co., one of many challenges facing record companies as they transition into the digital world.
In addition to treating YouTube as a de facto free music service, young people said they are less inclined than those 18 years old and up to listen to CDs or the radio.
Neither age group reported making much use of Spotify AB, Rhapsody International Inc. or other on-demand streaming music services, though Pandora Media Inc.’s P -3.60%custom online radio service was among the five most-popular methods for both groups.
My first reaction was, who’s listening to CDs at all — aside from those burned to listen to in the car? And I see it’s clueless old people. In fact, older generations — from whom I’m disassociating myself as much as possible in my wording here — are more out of it than that:
In fact, among adults, cassette tapes remain more popular than many online music services, or even vinyl records, despite the latter medium’s purported comeback in recent years.
Just to make an excuse for adults here: I think that might be because so many of us these days are driving older cars. For instance, my wife drives a Volvo that she inherited from her father, and it has a cassette player but no CD player or MP3 jack. If our cars had turntables for vinyl, I suppose we’d sound cooler, but it would be rough on our record collections.
But back to the kids: Turns out they’re pretty smart. I discovered sometime back that YouTube is the quickest, easiest way to listen to almost any song, from any genre, for free. It’s not as easy as turning on one of your Pandora stations and letting it run, but at least you get to listen to exactly what you want to hear.
... but the video can add something.
Good thinking, kids.