Music Business

Though still under the radar, gaming is now huge for music discovery

While radio once reigned supreme for music discovery, the digital age has caused these discovery points to change and evolve several times. Most recently, gaming has begun to draw the attention of a key demographic, although many in the industry have yet to notice.

Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

Ever since the very beginning of digital music, music discovery has been the buzzword on every music exec’s lips. It was somewhat cut and dried back in the analog days, as radio ruled. Get some traction on a few stations (or even one big one) and your career would be off and running. The digital age has been different though, and major discovery points have changed from platform to platform (MySpace, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok). But there’s one discovery point that seems to be currently capturing the ears of a very important demographic, and it’s way under the radar.

According to MRC Data, 28% of Gen-Z music listeners now find new music via video games, which is a big reason why major labels and artists have taken a keen interest in the sector over the last few years. Much hyped performances by Travis Scott and Marshmello on Fortnite, a Roblox concert by Lil Nas X, and an upcoming interactive event from Twenty One Pilots have shown that these events can be big winners for all involved.

That said, most younger users pride themselves in finding new music that not only do they like, but they can turn their friends on to as well. It’s no secret that Gen-Z as a demographic is so into gaming, and the byproduct of that is now music consumption.

Although gaming might be under-the-radar in terms of music discovery for most artists and labels, TikTok is not and the latest figures show that the platform is the go-to source for new music for 49% of Gen-Z listeners. Surprisingly, 59% still listen to radio in their cars, but that could be a function that they drive older vehicles that aren’t connected. Radio may be their only means of entertainment during any driving time.

The bottom line is that gaming is becoming more and more powerful when it comes to music consumption. It might not be easier to get your music into a game, but it’s worth the effort if you do.

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