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Kids today eh? Seven in ten Gen Zs play music to remind them of the old days

Tim Green

18-to-24 year-olds might be in the prime of youth, but they are not above wallowing in nostalgia.

According to Spotify Culture Next study, 68 per cent of Zs say they like listening to and watching media from earlier decades, because it reminds them of when things were less complicated.

The report, which surveyed users in 16 markets, contains lots of stats on music consumption, but it seems more preoccupied with exploring the mental state of Spotify's customers. It reveals that Gen Zs played 578 billion minutes of music on Spotify in 2021 – that's 16 billion more than millennials.

But is also states that "digital audio provides an oasis for Zs to better understand themselves and lean into music and podcasts that transport listeners back to simpler times." It says 73 per cent of Zs use audio to better understand themselves. Tellingly, mental health is the most streamed podcast genre on Spotify among Zs, with a 62 percent increase in streams in 2022 vs 2021.

Other highlight findings include:

Zs are more likely than Millennials to describe their generation as “stressed out” (67 per cent vs 48 per cent).
67 per cent use audio (music, podcasts, etc.) to cope with stress and anxiety.
Over the last year, average podcast listenership among Gen Zs in the UK increased by 51 per cent on Spotify between Q1 2022 and the year prior.
Over a third of Zs (42 per cent) feel that they were born in the wrong decade.
59 per cent believe life was better before social media
70 per cent of Zs like when brands bring back advertising campaigns from decades past.
63 per cent of Zs like brands that were popular in the decades before they were born.