Are Albums Dying? ⁠— 15% of Music Fans Under 25 Have Never Listened to a Full Album

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Photo Credit: Unsplash

Streaming service Deezer dug into the UK’s listening habits for ‘National Album Day.’ Is this fabled format dead?

A recent survey of over 2,000 adults in the UK found that 42% are putting their favorite songs on playlists.  And a majority of the under-25 age bracket is more likely to arrange their music into playlists than listen to an album.

What’s startling is the study found that 15% of music fans under 25 have never listened to a full album.  Not once in their lives — though keep in mind that this is limited to the UK.

When asked why their listening behavior changed, half cited a busy life and lack of time to listen. Deezer’s own stats seem to confirm this.  Album listening in the UK is down to just 17 minutes per day, lower than the global average of 26 minutes daily.

It’s not all bleak news, though. At least 82% of participants have listened to a whole album from start to finish.  The top places to listen to a full album include at home (53%), a car journey (32%), or on a walk (14%).  Perhaps declaring the album ‘dead’ or ‘dying’ is too black-and-white, though the format is clearly on the decline.

Deezer found some interesting differences in how men and women listen to music, too.

The study found that men are more likely to listen to the album as the artist intended. 27% of listeners play an album from start to finish ⁠— 30% of males and only 23% of females do that.

Live events are also a huge driving factor for album consumption. 74% of those surveyed confirmed they’re more likely to listen to an album after an artists’ live performance. 32% of listeners said they listened to an artist’s album before attending a live performance.

Deezer can confirm that stat after seeing a 30% increase in UK streams of the Backstreet Boys following a concert in Glasgow.

Here’s one out of left field, too. Scots are the most likely to listen to whole albums. 90% of Scottish listeners confirmed they prefer whole albums over listening to playlists.

So maybe albums aren’t dying (yet), but they’re certainly less popular in the UK than everywhere else.

13 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Let’s be honest here, the only thing this poll really tells us is that 15% of music fans under the age of 25 are actually completely lame.

    • Anon

      Didn’t they JUST write a piece on how Albums were making a come back? That they sold more than CD’s. Wasn’t that here I just read that story?
      More disinformation

    • Jim

      “A recent survey of over 2,000 adults in the UK”

      The survey was of “adults”

      Digital Music News decided to call “adults” “music fans”.

      And why does Backstreet Boys have anything to do with this?

  2. Soren

    It’s not bleak that only 82% of people have listened to JUST ONE full album?? That number should absolutely be 100%. How can you NEVER have listened to just one album? I find it extremely worrying.

    • Jim

      Well, we all should know that everything is getting worse, and has been getting worse for a long long time, just, in general.

      However, you don’t understand what the article said.

      The article said that 15% of people UNDER 25 years old have never listened to an album. I think that’s unlikely, it’s high. Some of those people have listened to an album without knowing it.

      It’s quite interesting that people claim that they don’t have the time to listen to an album, but they have the time to make a playlist.

      Those people under 25 who have never listened to an album have garbage musical tastes.

  3. Sam

    Ludicrous. The album, as DMN previously reported, is on the rise sales-wise and therefore the album is not dying. Actually listening to the entire album is a different story. Most of the younger generations don’t value music enough (understanding or appreciation), or have a long enough attention span to stick to anything for over 30 minutes.

    • Jim

      Those people who have never listened to an album are simply not fans of anything enough to listen to a whole album by their favorite act.

      These are not music fans.

      DMN decided to call “adults” “music fans” – but they’re not “music fans”. They belong to the category of NOT MUSIC FANS. I’m still surprised that people who are NOT MUSIC FANS still have avoided listening to an entire album their whole 18 years.

  4. Paul Resnikoff

    We’ve reported about the rise of vinyl, which is typically an LP album. Vinyl is, for the first time since the 80s, starting to beat CDs. But the broader trend on albums? Harder to say.

  5. Julie Harris

    What a blatant effort to misrepresent data for the purpose of getting eyeballs. To even begin to take the position that “albums are dead” because 15% of listeners in a particular age bracket haven’t listened to an entire album is such a distortion of the data. I can be assumed the data is reasonably reliable although true data using a small data set would provide a margin of error. That aside, where is the baseline data? In order to believe albums are dead based on this random percentage would require knowing what the baseline number of listeners is in an earlier time period. Oops, we don’t have that. It seems the author would assume that everyone that bought albums prior to the golden age of digital music streaming listened to the entire album. Every. Single. Person. Having grown up in the dark ages of music before the in the creation of cassette tapes (long live the mixtape!) people still listened to vinyl by dropping the needle, listening to the one hit song on the album and changing the album. Or singles. Some albums would develop a well-worn groove on the favorite tracks. Even more relevant, to predict the death of anything in a truthful and responsible manner would require showing a trend in declining album listens. That too is absent here. We are not provided any information to suggest that album listening habits have changed over time. In fact, the data provided could just as easily support the conclusion that more people are listening to whole albums because there is no baseline data. In an era where victimization is king, apparently the music industry can only exist if bombarded with predictions of death. Long live the music industry, death to clickbait articles based on hyperbole.

  6. Nicky Knight

    Actually, I think most people who are listening to music over streaming services don’t listen to entire albums.. the reason is simple… you have a billion choices of the entire history of recorded music at your fingertips… However, playlists and albums on playlists may do alright for shops, medical centres, hairdressers, person health & maintenance service providers… and other in-venue experiences.

    If you listen to music over LP vinyl, Cassette, CD then you’ll probably play the whole thing through.

    • Jim

      But those people don’t know the entire recorded history of music, and they are basically just playing whatever spotify is giving them.

      When you don’t know anything, you’re really not a music fan, and you’re basically just listening to the radio except it’s on spotify.

      People who are music fans will like something enough to listen to an album of it, at least one time in their lives.

  7. will buckley

    I’m surprised at how high the number is. If bands were smart they would give fans CDs or Flash Drives at Shows and charge an extra $5. for tix if fans want them. Ticket purchasers can be sent vouchers to pick them up at the show…..