Spotify report gives advertisers an inside look into Gen Z

Gabby Fernie

Spotify has released the third volume of Culture Next, the Annual Culture and Trends Report designed to give advertisers an inside look into what inspires and motivates millennials and Gen Z. 

With 71 per cent of Spotify Free listeners under the age of 35 and the median age of its podcast listeners being 27 (March 2021), Spotify is a trusted authority on how Gen Z and millennial audiences are consuming, curating, and creating digital audio content.

The report is assembled through dozens of interviews with listeners, creators, and advertising executives in 18 countries, along with a combination of qualitative, quantitative, and first-party data analysis. 

Of the 9,000 Gen Z and millennial respondents surveyed in April 2021, 70 per cent of millennials and 62 per cent of Gen Zs said that streaming platforms at large, including audio, have significantly shaped how they discover and connect with broader culture.

A further 60 per cent of millennials and 54 per cent of Gen Zs also believe brands have the power to create communities based on common interest and passion. 

Podcast creators are fast becoming the 6 o’clock news for Gen Zs who already turn to their phones as their primary news source. The intimate nature of podcasts makes them an ideal medium for advertisers looking to win over new, younger audiences.

Among millennials and Gen Zs, 40 per cent ranked their trust in podcasts higher than their average trust in traditional media sources, including national TV news, newspapers, and radio. 

Spotify believes that Gen Z are the most racially and culturally diverse generation yet, and they expect brands to reflect, represent, and empower them through their campaigns, talent partnerships, and participation in social justice movements.

The report shows that 62 per cent of millennials and 52 per cent of Gen Zs think that audio amplifies more diverse perspectives than traditional media e.g. TV, print, etc. 

A huge 71 per cent of millennials and 61 per cent of Gen Zs have also used music as a way to learn about cultures and experiences that differ from their own.

For musicians and music fans, immersive virtual worlds became a critical tether as live shows paused -  68 per cent of millennials and Gen Zs globally “attended” a virtual experience in the last year.

However, millennials in the U.K. are more likely than Gen Zs to continue attending virtual concerts after the pandemic is over (56 per cent vs. 44 per cent), since they’re cheaper and more convenient than real-life experiences.

The report stresses that audio allows brands to be a part of both physical and virtual realities, advising "Leverage 3D audio to immerse listeners in an authentic virtual listening environment, creating a dynamic and sensory experience. Achieve undivided attention for your brand through soundscapes that take Zs on a journey from near and far to left and right."