Gen Z is more engaged with digital audio than ever, says Spotify’s latest Culture Next 2022 report

Spotify has dropped the fourth edition of Culture Next, its annual report on global culture and trends. This year’s report focuses Gen Z as ‘tastemakers, fans, and, most of all, individuals navigating and defining their place in the world through audio’.

In the first quarter alone, according to Spotify, 18- to 24-year-olds have already played more than 578 billion minutes of music on the streaming platform — more than any other cohort, and roughly 16 billion more minutes than 25- to 34-year-olds.

The report has been compiled in partnership with youth culture agency Archrival, speaking with respondents from United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, United Kingdom, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, Australia / New Zealand, and the United Arab Emirates.

“As creators, their approach to music and podcasts are forging entirely new aesthetics, genres, and fandoms,” writes Dawn Ostroff, Chief Content & Advertising Business Officer, Spotify, in the fourth volume of the Culture Next report. “As listeners, their tastes and habits are fluid and say a lot about who they are. Above all else, as a generation, they’re more engaged with digital audio than ever.”

Here’s what India’s Gen Zs have to contribute to evolving audio consumption.

  • Over the last year alone, average podcast listenership among Indian Gen Zs increased by 141% on Spotify between Q1 2022 and the year prior. Now, almost two-thirds of 18- to 24-year-olds in India are listening to podcasts at least weekly (64% vs 46% of 15- to 17-year-olds). Furthermore, Mental Health, the top podcast genre among Zs globally, grew by 56% in the number of streams among Zs in India in Q1 2022, compared to the year before.
  • Gen Zs will support a particular creator by joining a digital community like Reddit or Discord.
  • About 90% of the Indian respondents have listened to music from a film or show they like in order to feel like they’re a character in the story, taking audio immersion to fantasy.
  • Almost all respondents said audio takes them to the outer edges of themselves or allows them to explore different sides of their personalities, something which they wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.
  • In fact, 75% of Zs in India said they listen to at least one music artist or podcast that others would find niche, obscure, or experimental.
  • Most Gen Z listeners like when audio creators take on different personas or characters.
  • About 70% of Indian Gen Zs said they own products that allow them to explore different sides of their personality, and 82% like when brands are able to connect with their different sides.
  • Podcasts are a resource for Indian Gen Z. About 76% of 18- to 24-year-olds in India said they turn to podcasts for hard or personal questions before talking to families, and 74% of the same group said they listen to podcasts to inform the conversations they have with their friends.
  • Nostalgia is a strong lure for Indian Gen Zs. About 74% of them said they like listening to and watching media from earlier decades, because it reminds them of when things were simpler
  • When it comes to advertising, 76% of Indian Gen Zs like when brands bring back old aesthetic styles, and 76% love when brands produce retro products or content. Brands today need to understand how nuanced nostalgia has become to connect with this gen.
  • They also said they’re interested in interacting with brands through customisable ads, too: half of Zs in India said they like being able to select the ad they listen to on a digital audio streaming service, and more than a third said they like it when they can interact with ads.

Read the full report here

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