Gen Z has same music taste as their parents, study finds
For young music fans, “old is the new cool.” Gen Z Americans are particularly fond of songs released decades before they were born, according to a recent study. So much so that some even feel they were not born in the right musical era.
December is the month to take a look back on the year in music. Swedish music platform Spotify has been offering a personalized, interactive retrospective to its subscribers since 2016. In the same spirit, Dolby Laboratories is using the end of the year to look at the music consumption habits of Americans. Two thousand of them were surveyed in mid-November to find out what makes them groove.
It turns out that more than two-thirds of respondents are spending more time listening to music each day than they did the previous year. The majority even spend four or more hours a day listening to music.
This trend is particularly pronounced among members of Generation Z, those born between 1997 and 2010. But contrary to what one might expect, they are not spending these hours discovering the latest tunes from their contemporaries. Instead, they are diving into the discographies of artists like Fleetwood Mac, Matthew Wilder and a-HA.
Long live the Noughties
According to the survey, nearly 70% of young respondents say they have recently discovered a song released more than a decade ago. More than two-thirds also say they have become familiar with a legendary song or album in the past two years.
The phenomenon is such that some members of Gen Z do not associate themselves with the music of their own time.
Eighty percent of those interviewed are convinced that they were born in the wrong era. Most feel that they would have preferred to have grown up in the 2000s, when songs like Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and Aly & AJ’s “Potential Breakup Song” were all over the music charts.
This comeback of Noughties style, sometimes referred to as Y2K online, is linked to the preponderant role that social networks like TikTok now play in the music industry.
One example of this is pop punk, a musical genre that was thought to have fallen by the wayside since the early 2000s. It recently made a comeback among young Americans headlined by artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Willow Smith and Machine Gun Kelly, as well as TikTok. The hashtag “#poppunk” currently counts more than 1.2 billion views on the platform, if the most skeptical doubt that the genre is more vibrant than ever.
Additionally, social networks are a great source of musical inspiration for many Americans. Fifty seven percent of Americans say they discover new songs and artists through social media. Social media challenges help, especially if there’s a focus on getting familiar with vintage tunes. Nearly a quarter of respondents who recently listened to a song released more than a decade ago attribute this discovery to a viral video on social networks. DC
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