News August 16, 2021

Pandemic increases listening gulf between Australian Millennials and Gen Zs [report]

Pandemic increases listening gulf between Australian Millennials and Gen Zs [report]

The pandemic has created a greater difference in audio listening patterns between Australian Millennials and Gen Zs, new figures from Spotify Advertising show.

Its Cultural Rebirth report provides Australian and global figures in changed behaviour during lockdowns.

Both demographic groups turned to music and podcasts as less social interaction made them more lonely.

Australian Millennials and Gen Zs equally (76%) use audio to reduce stress levels. Globally it was 83% for Millennials and 69% of Gen Z.

According to Spotify’s chief content & advertising business officer Dawn Ostroff, 2021 was the year that Gen Zs “prioritised searching for connection and meaning about themselves and the world around them”.

72% feel “more centred and generally happier” when listening to their favourite music on a daily basis.

They are more eager to leave virtual events behind and resume IRL experiences, the report said.

In terms of discovering new music and artists, the Zs have a wider scope of sources.

21% rely most on social media with a high 40% searching the music out later on Spotify,

Recommendations from streaming services account for 15%, friends (14%), movie or TV shows (9%), curated playlist (8%), other artists (7%), family member (5%) and audio service (4%).

Millennials face a different set of challenges.

With expectations of work-life balance shaken, “audio has emerged as the go-to source for Millennials to connect with family, stay informed, and indulge in ‘me time’” Ostroff explained.

75% regard audio as a mental health resource.

They are more inclined to favour nostalgic content. In the US that takes the shape of listening to country music or retro playlists.

In Australia they streamed 37% more Aussie rock classics between March 2020 and 2021.

43% are more likely to continue attending virtual concerts after the pandemic is over (32% for the Zs who are more eager to experience physical music again) as they’re cheaper and more convenient than real-life experiences.

Global data shows that Gen Z is storming the barricades when it comes to Spotify playlists.

In May 2021, for instance, Gen Z lists were being streamed 75% more than Millennial ones.

There was also a 235% YoY increase in playlists created with Gen Z-specific keywords and a 343% jump in streams to Gen Z playlists.

With podcasts, Australian Millennial listening about mental health went up 208% in Q1 2021 compared to Q1 2020, self help by 84% and spirituality by 76%.

This age group reported strong emotional connections with their favourite podcast hosts, and often regard them as personal friends.

With Australian Gen Zs podcast listening, mental health was up 191%, self help by 84% and spirituality by 65%.

Changing culture

Both groups believe they can change culture, and overlap on wanting to be more inclusive.

Both are opening to diverse and previously unheard voices. 51% of Millennials and 48% of Gen Z searched for content from diverse creators and podcasts in the past year.

68% of Millennials versus 60% of Zs are hearing more culturally diverse voices than before.

67% vs 58% believe they are building a more equitable society.

66% vs 63% think we are building a “better normal” out of the pandemic.

Both age groups show low levels of trust in traditional societal institutions and see podcasts as the medium to bring them closer to the truth.

Gen Zs — who grew up on the internet — came of age reposting, remixing and reproducing culture.

“To them, everything is ripe for some inspired rearranging, including audio,” according to Cultural Rebirth.

“Armed with social media, young listeners now play an active role in amplifying new artists, co-creating songs, and forming powerful global communities that make tomorrow’s hits.”

More Gen Z influencers are creating their own multi-platform podcasts. 64% of Australian Gen Z creators feel digital technology makes it easier than ever to be a cultural curator.

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