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Music-streaming services booming in the over-55s

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People over the age of 55 are now the fastest-growing group of new users on music-streaming platforms like Spotify, Amazon Prime Music and YouTube Music.

According to new panel research from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), over 1.1 million more over-55s were users of music subscription services in February 2020 compared with 12 months earlier.

This means they accounted for over a third of the 2.8 million new streamers in the UK over the period.

The 90 per cent increase in the number of over-55s paying to stream music over the period was more than four times the growth in the number of people across the population (18.5 per cent).

The data comes from ERA’s consumer-tracking study, which quizzed approximately 2,000 UK consumers about their entertainment consumption habits every quarter for the past six-and-a-half years.

In the survey, consumers were asked which technologies they have used in the previous three months to access music, video and games.

The research suggests the number of people using paid-for music-streaming services in the UK now exceeds 18 million. More than 57 per cent of streamers are 34 years old or younger, but as penetration begins to plateau in the younger age groups, the growth rate is accelerating in the older age groups.

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said: “Over-55-year-olds are the new battleground in the streaming market. Previously streaming services have very much been regarded as something for music’s traditional younger fanbase. These numbers show that 24/7 access to all the music you could wish for is also attractive to older music fans.”

The number of Spotify users has been booming since the implementation of lockdowns around the world in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company’s share price began rising after it reported at the end of April that it had reached 130 million paying subscribers, up from analyst expectations of 129 million.

In the US, two in five consumers said they were listening to more music in order to deal with the stress of staying at home.

Chief executive Daniel Ek told the Financial Times that he expects the demand to continue even amid rising unemployment as users that are strapped for cash can always downgrade to ad-supported services.

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