How Music Streaming Creates New Fans for Classic Artists


Global musicAs Deezer announces its first-ever Family Plan offer in the US, VP of Marketing Deborah Jourdan discusses key stats and findings to discuss the broader context off how the music industry is changing and how music streaming in particularly has changed the landscape for artists of today and yester-year.

By Deborah Jourdan, VP of Marketing for Deezer

Trends are cyclical. Fashion, hair styles and neighborhoods are among those that go in and out of popularity and, as history has shown, it will continue to do so for years to come. Choker necklaces were popular throughout the 1800’s,1 then again in the 1990’s and have reemerged in the past couple years once again. Teased hair was popular with the 1960’s beehive, again with the 1980’s “mall bangs” and is again popular with today’s backcomb. And New York City seems to be an ever-evolving rotation of neighborhoods that are up-and-coming and then back to “has-beens,” all depending on the audience that frequent the areas.

westWithin music, artists and songs come in and out of popularity, creating its own cycle of trends to watch. Kanye West brought back classic artists like Ray Charles and Otis Redding when he featured their music in his hit songs, “Gold Digger” and “Otis.” Journey’s chart topper, “Don’t Stop Believin,’” reached number nine on Billboard’s Hot 100 when it was originally released in 1981,2 then re-entered pop culture nearly thirty years later when it was featured on Glee in 2009, reaching number four on the charts.3 Additionally, artists who achieved great success back in the day, like New Kids on the Block and Bananarama, have recently made comebacks with new album releases.

But what has the most impact on creating new fans for classic songs and artists?

With the increase in streaming use, global music streaming services like Deezer are helping the artists and songs of yesteryear create a comeback and find new fans of all ages. Deezer’s deep catalog is most popular among those 50+ with over half of songs played released more than 5 years ago. However, those under 25 are streaming the deep catalog too with 1 in 3 songs played from more than 5 years ago.  Ultimately, streaming services make music more accessible to today’s audiences, thus fueling the comeback potential and success of artists who might have thought their careers were past their prime.

Recognizing the need to appeal to audiences of all ages, Deezer recently celebrated the launch of its Family offer in the U.S. with a survey exploring the connection of music tastes and discovery habits between generations. The results revealed that family members of all ages shared many of the same habits, but with a few notable differences. In particular, the survey revealed an increase in the use of streaming platforms and how new technologies have evolved the way music fans discover and engage with music, primarily among the younger generation.

In fact, 40% of Millennials said they discover music today through streaming apps, the Internet or social media. A far cry from only 15% of Baby Boomers who use these channels for music discovery. And while nearly 75% of Gen Yers said they discovered music as a child through radio, nearly 33% of Millennials discover music through the Internet and by watching TV and films, more so than any other age group. For example, Deezer’s survey showed that of those who are familiar with “Por Ti Volare,” by Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, over 30% of Millennials credit films, such as Step Brothers andBlades of Glory, for turning them onto it. Additionally, there was a 50% increase in the number of Millennials who discovered The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” through Netflix’s Stranger Thingsversus the number of Gen Yers. Millennials were also 132% more likely to have discovered Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On” from watching the movie Bridesmaids versus Gen Y and Baby Boomers combined.

The research also revealed that songs and artists are increasingly coming back into popularity over the decades. This is partly due to these new methods of discovery, but artists’ remixes also have an impact on helping music fans discover classic songs and artists – albeit in an altered way, as pop culture plays a massive role in how Millennials discover music. For example, when asked which singer they most associate with “I Will Always Love You,” the majority (74%) of people identified Whitney Houston, who sang the song in film The Bodyguard, while only 19% of people identified the true angel behind the tune, Dolly Parton. Sometimes the love of new remixes versus the love of originals simply comes down to age. Regardless of how emotional Sean Combs’ tribute to Notorious B.I.G., “I’ll Be Missing You,” is, The Police’s original tune is more well-known among Gen Y, with 81% associating them with the song. However, 31% of Millennials think of Puffy when they listen to it.

At the end of the day, no matter where and when music is discovered, Deezer wants to make music as accessible as possible so users can enjoy the music they currently love, while discovering new (to you) favorites.