Spotify, the world’s largest streaming audio platform, today releases the third volume of ‘Culture Next’, its annual Culture and Trends report that explores how Gen Z and Millennials are sharing in 2021 after the impact of the pandemic and the role that digital audio plays in their lives. The “Culture Next” report aims to offer advertisers and marketers in Spain and around the world an in-depth look at what inspires and motivates millennials and Gen Z to effectively connect with this audience.
Currently, 71% of Spotify’s free version users are under the age of 35, a feature that gives the platform the power to spread awareness of how Gen Z and Millennials relate to content, what it looks like, how they are consumption and even how. they create it. Here are the 8 defining trends of Gen Z and Millennials revealed by the study:
1. Audio as an escape: 74% of Spanish millennials and Gen Z agree that audio helps them reduce their stress levels
The saturation of digital content has a direct impact on our well-being. For this reason, Millennials and Z’s are heading for a “meditative diet” and using audio as a loophole. 74% of both generations in Spain agree that audio helps them reduce their stress levels, and they explore its possibilities to enrich their daily routines.
For millennials that means retreating into nostalgia, listening to, say, 80s hits. And for Z, that means immersing themselves in real detective podcasts, listening to a pop music playlist, or relaxing while playing. ambient sounds. Thanks to this “medical regime”, brands have the opportunity to be part of these privileged moments and unique connection with young audiences.
2. “Fuzzy Lives”: Millennials and Generation Z are increasingly immersed in a reality in which the boundaries between the tangible and the virtual and reality and fiction are blurred
Immersion in alternate realities is something common for Gen Z and Millennials, such as playing “games” or participating in virtual events and experiences. One of the main consequences of the pandemic is that the virtual world has become a fundamental medium for artists and music fans due to the paralysis of live performances. In fact, 68% of Millennials and Gen Zs around the world have participated in a virtual experience in the past year. And 42% of millennials in Spain agree to continue attending virtual events because they are cheaper and more comfortable than live experiences.
In this sense, audio plays a fundamental role in virtual experiences to make them truly immersive, as confirmed by 61% of millennials and 65% of Z. For brands, this trend means being able to be part of reality at the same time. physical and virtual to deliver your messages efficiently with the power of audio.
3. “Symbiotic Creation”: Generation Z and Millennials are not just consumers of content, they are also creators
Generation Z, who grew up on the internet, are playing an active role in revealing new artists and talent, co-creating songs and forging global communities responsible for the successes of tomorrow. Gen Z and Millennials aren’t just consumers, they’re creators, and they love to be a part of the creative process.
Now that creators are more accessible than ever, young users respond to their draft tracks, choose their favorite beats, write lyrics, change song titles, and even participate in choosing which tracks to create. This behavior changes the way artists create, and it also represents a new opportunity for brands to better interact with their audiences, to invite them to discover and be part of their creative processes.
4. “The go-to source”: confidence grows in podcasts compared to traditional media
The relevance and credibility of podcast makers is booming. 43% of Spanish millennials and Z confirm that they trust podcasts more than traditional media. In addition, 10% of Generation Z Spaniards identify as “never having a thread”, that is, having never watched traditional television.
Suddenly, this bond forged between users and podcasters translates into an opportunity for brands: 41% of global Spotify users trust ads more if they hear them on a podcast, and 81% say they have taken an action. direct after listening to them. on this medium.
5. New voices, new channels of information
Both generations share the goal of being represented in today’s society. For this reason, they raise their voices and confront many points of view that historically have not received sufficient visibility in mainstream media. In the words of Valeria Vegas, author of the original Spotify “Pride” podcast: “Podcasts represent a new avenue of information, which is precisely what the LGTBI community has long lacked. Emotions are perceived differently. The stories of its protagonists are, at the same time, the history of a country, and many people can see themselves reflected there ”.
Zs are the most culturally diverse generation, and they hope to be reflected, represented and empowered through branding campaigns, talent associations, and participation in social movements.
6. The generation of “curation” content
For millennials and millennials, content ‘curation’ – understood as the process of finding, organizing, and personalizing the content we find to share with audiences later – has become a mainstay of artistic expression that even helps to forge your identity. For example, 81% of millennials think curating playlists is an art.
Brands can join this trend to reach audiences and participate in the cultural “curation” of content by creating their own playlists on Spotify, recommending songs and tracks to their target audience.
7. Segmentation is no longer demographic, but based on common trends and interests
Gen Z has banned demographic targeting traditionally used to reach audiences. This generation is no longer defined by age, race, sex, gender or location, but by cultural tendencies and common interests. This has undoubtedly prompted marketers to seek out new and innovative approaches to reach increasingly fragmented consumer groups.
Now they are looking for a way to connect with other cultures through audio, music and podcasts. So much so that in Spain, 67% of millennials and 69% of Generation Z believe that music is a gateway to other cultures. Additionally, 60% of Millennials and 54% of Zs say they have used music as a way to learn about cultures and have experiences different from their own.
8. Remote connections
Brands need to adapt to reach a new consumer whose lifestyles have radically changed, from our spending habits to the way we interact and educate our children.
Audio has become a ‘savior’ for millennial parents during the pandemic: 66% say we consume more family entertainment than before, and a third (33%) of millennial parents in Spain already own at least one smart speaker. With this trend, it is essential to position the brand in the user connection center, considering both the devices they use in real life and in virtual life.