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What Are College Students' Top Music Influencers?
It can seem like digital screens are replacing real people with online "friends," but when the Orchard asked their campus reps about students' listening habits, they learned the opposite — real friends are students' top influencers for new music discovery and 18–21 year-olds "are primarily sharing their favorite music in-person."
There seem to be no limits to what types of music students listen to while studying or how many digital platforms they might explore for discovery and sharing. But while students' digital explorations take them all over, personal connections, activities and concert attendance still dominate. There is something heartening that "kids today" know how to value what's personal — an important truth for young artists trying to nurture their fan base.
Sure, Spotify's discovery and sharing tools are common, and college kids also engage with their favorite artists on Instagram and YouTube and Reddit (Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter were about equally influential). But these global sharing platforms have not replaced real word-of-mouth among college consumers as the most digitally savvy generation of all time keeps it personal.