Arts and Entertainment Management

Department of Management

Advisor: Professor Chris Ramos

Document Type



Rock music is a significant part of American culture and has always had ties to the socialization of the youth since its rise in the 1950s. Many musicians and music journalists have pushed forth the opinion that the genre is “dead” as its relevance in young adult culture has faded away in favor of different genres of mainstream music. However, rock artists have seen more success and virality in the past few years. This is primarily true through the social media platform TikTok, the largest platform of its kind with most young people as part of its userbase. The following study intends to analyze and explain the relationship between rock music and members of Generation Z, particularly 18- to 24- year-olds, through an online Qualtrics survey. It highlights the musical preferences of this target group, including how they discover rock music and respond to the rock music they are presented on social media. Many of the participants embrace the genre with a feeling that it is rising in popularity in their age group. Secondary research was conducted to find data on some of the rock artists that have gained traction on TikTok, to highlight the impact that massive exposure to Generation Z has had on them. The effects of virality are evident in the short term for these artists, but the long term effects are minimal. Findings of the study suggest that artists and labels need to develop strategies to convert those who come across their viral music into devoted fans of the band.