Music consumption in Germany: Radio still more popular than streaming

SINUS study to mark World Music Day (October 1st) in cooperation with YouGov

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Music is omnipresent. Whether as background music in shops, through headphones on the train, or during live concerts - for a large majority of Germans (80%), music is important in life. Three out of four Germans (73%) also say that music connects countries and cultures. This is the motto of World Music Day on October 1st. A survey conducted by SINUS-Institut together with Data & Analytics Group YouGov is dedicated to various questions on the topics of music consumption, habits and attitudes.

Streaming killed the radio star? Not in Germany

Although music streaming services have become increasingly popular in recent years, radio remains the number one music channel for Germans: 62 % of respondents say they usually listen to music via the radio. The age comparison shows that older respondents listen to music on the radio significantly more often than younger ones (84 % of respondents aged 60 to 75 vs. 26 % of 18- to 29-year-olds).

Given the option of choosing multiple channels relevant to them, respondents gave streaming services second place – and by a rather significant margin. A total of 53 % of Germans use at least one music streaming service. More specifically, 34 % say they listen to free services with advertising, while 28 % enjoy music from paid providers without advertising. As expected, it is younger people who listen to music most often via streaming channels such as Spotify, Deezer, YouTube and the like. Among 18 to 29-year-olds, paid services (51%) are used more frequently than free services (42%). CDs are still used by 31 % of all respondents, especially the age group of 60 to 75 years (45%).

Background music: in the car, but not the bedroom

Music accompanies Germans in a wide variety of everyday situations. In keeping with the continuing popularity of the radio, Germans listen to music most often when driving their cars (61%). Another 57% find it easier to do housework with music on, while 43% listen to music while doing hobbies (such as handwork or gardening). Just under one in four say they listen to music while eating (24%) or doing sports (23%). On the other hand, only 7% want their sex life to be accompanied by music.

"The results show that radio continues to have a high relevance in the everyday life of consumers. Especially for listening to music, it plays a major role, despite the many possibilities to consume audio content via mobile devices such as smartphones. Advertisers should continue to keep an eye on radio. At the same time, age cohort effects are evident in radio usage, which advertisers should take into account when tailoring and playing out campaigns," says Philipp Schneider, Head of Marketing DACH at YouGov Germany.

Pop and rock are most popular music genres in Germany

What’s the vibe of Germany today? Asked to choose their favorites among 20 common music genres, about half say they like to listen to pop music (53%), while slightly fewer name rock (45%). The top five most popular genres are rounded out by oldies/evergreens (34%), Schlager music (29%), and hard rock/(heavy) metal and electro/EDM/techno/house/disco (20 % each).

Women listen to pop music more often than men, while respondents aged 50 to 59 listen to both pop and rock more often than average. The oldest group surveyed, 70- to 75-year-olds, prefer oldies and evergreens, while the youngest age group, 18 to 29-year-olds, enjoy listening to hip-hop/rap more often  than average.

An analysis based on the Sinus-Milieus social segmentation model sheds further light on how differently the preferences for music genres are distributed in the German population. This segmentation model categorises the German population into ten social milieus – or "groups of like-minded people" – through the careful measurement of their values and lifestyle orientations.

Dr. Silke Borgstedt, Managing Director of SINUS-Institut, explains: "Let's look at the Conservative Upscale Milieu, for example, which is the established elite of our society. Here, people typically listen to classical music, but also to Schlager music of a high standard. The ambitious creative bohemians of our country, the Expeditive Milieu, listen to completely different music. This group likes indie/alternative, acoustic music, and jazz at above-average rates - as well as generally everything that runs under the mainstream radar. Fans of electro/EDM/techno and hip-hop/rap are found especially often in the Consumer-Hedonistic Milieu, a lower middle-class milieu that is strongly focused on entertainment and nightlife activities." More information on these social groups can be found on the SINUS-Institut website.

12 euros per month for music

On average, Germans spend around 12 euros a month on music. This includes spending on concert tickets, album purchases, streaming subscriptions, etc. Men spend more money on music than women (15 euros vs. 9 euros), while an age comparison shows that respondents aged 40 to 49 invest the most in music (16 euros). On the other hand, 46 % of all respondents say they spend no money at all on music. Older people make this statement more often than younger people.

Every seventh person plays an instrument - men are more likely to make music than women

Only a minority in Germany plays a musical instrument themselves, with 14 % of all respondents saying they play one or more instruments. Men report playing instruments slightly more often than women (16 % of men vs. 12 % of women). Men are also more likely to say they sing either solo or in a band or choir (7% of men vs. 3% of women), among all respondents 5% say this. Another 5 % state that they are professionally connected to the music scene (apart from making music). Here, it is the age group of 30-39 year-olds to whom this applies most often according to their own statements (12%).

Music influences mood, emotions, and aggression

For a large majority of people in Germany, music has a positive influence on their mood (81%). Almost as many say that music helps them to relax (79%). For almost two out of three respondents, music is helpful in reducing negative feelings or aggression (64%). On the other hand, only half of the Germans say that music helps them to concentrate (49%).

Music is even more present for Austrians than for Germans

According to SINUS partner INTEGRAL, our neighbours in Austria are even more strongly influenced by music than Germans: 86% of surveyed respondents in Austria say that music has a positive influence on their mood, which is 5 percentage points more than among Germans.

17 % of Austrian respondents say they play an instrument (vs. 14 % in Germany), while 27 % regularly go to concerts and other musical events (vs. 20% in Germany). This accords with the fact that Austrians spend slightly more money on music per month on average than Germans (15 euros vs. 12 euros in Germany).

Methodological information

The data used is based on an online survey based on the Omnibus by YouGov Germany GmbH, in which 2,050 people participated between August 19th and 26th, 2022. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population aged 18 to 75. 

About SINUS-Institut

SINUS Markt- und Sozialforschung GmbH, with offices in Heidelberg and Berlin, has specialised in psychological and social science research and consulting for over 40 years. SINUS develops strategies for companies and institutions that use socio-cultural change as a success factor.

A key tool is the Sinus-Milieus model - a model of society and target groups that summarises people according to their lifestyles in "groups of like-minded people". For decades, the Sinus-Milieus have been one of the best-known and most influential segmentation approaches in the German-speaking market and are available for over 48 countries.

SINUS cooperates closely with its sister companies INTEGRAL Markt- und Meinungsforschung in Vienna, Austria, and OPINION Market Research & Consulting, Nuremberg, Germany (INTEGRAL-SINUS-OPINION Group).

More information on SINUS-Institut at

Press contact

SINUS Markt- und Sozialforschung GmbH
Tim Gensheimer
Phone: +49 (0)6221 – 80 89 – 60

About YouGov

YouGov is an international online research data and analytics technology group. Our mission is to offer unparalleled insight into what the world thinks. Our innovative solutions help the world's most recognised brands, media owners and agencies to plan, activate and track their marketing activities better.

With operations in the UK, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, India and Asia Pacific, we have one of the world's largest research networks.

At the core of our platform is an ever-growing source of consumer data that has been amassed over our twenty years of operation. We call it Living Data. All of our products and services draw upon this detailed understanding of our 20 million registered panel members to deliver accurate, actionable consumer insights.

As innovators and pioneers of online market research, we have a strong reputation as a trusted source of accurate data and insights. Testament to this, YouGov data is regularly referenced by the global press, and we are the second most quoted market research source in the world.

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More information on YouGov at

Press contact

YouGov Deutschland GmbH
Anne-Kathrin Sonnenberg, PR Manager
Phone: +49 (0) 221 420 61 – 444


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