Kudos, Pandora. The music-streaming giant recently commissioned a white paper to showcase Gen Z’s obsession with music and convince marketers that adopting a music strategy is a “foolproof” way to engage this generation. Brilliant, competitive move, especially as CivicScience.com suggests Gen Z spends more time listening to music via Spotify than Pandora. Brands that want to win in this space need to step up and put skin in the game, and by commissioning this report, Pandora positioned themselves as a bona fide thought-leader.

The white paper, “Generation Z + Music: New Insights to Understand Who They Are and How They Listen,” aggregates results from Pandora’s first-ever teen survey of listeners 13-17 years old (conducted in March 2016). Download a free copy.


The survey revealed music dominates Gen Z lives and mobile screen interactions.

  • 87% listen to music while doing homework
  • 76% listen while texting
  • 70% listen while engaging in social media
  • 55% listen while they eat
  • 44% listen while playing video games

Of course, teens from every generation have “embraced music to define themselves and leave a mark on society.” But with the proliferation of smartphones and the ability to download music anytime, anywhere, music has become a daily habit for today’s teens. They simply can’t imagine their lives without it.

Music, in particular, carries an emotional charge for Gen Z that helps them sort through the natural ups and downs of adolescence. The vast majority of teens turn to music to enhance their mood or feel more confident. – Pandora

  • 95% say music enhances their mood
  • 97% say music makes them happy
  • 81% turn to music to build self-confidence

Pandora’s research also suggests music facilitates school success for teens. Not only does it help them get their homework done (87% of teens surveyed do their homework listening to music), but teens report that it helps them do a better job. The majority (83%) also agree music helps them study and think, and 86% say it makes them more creative.

Of course, Pandora has a vested interest in telling brands to adopt a music strategy to attract Gen Zs. But I couldn’t agree with them more! Music is a powerful connector that can help create a powerful brand experience.