Spotify Gives Brands a Unique Look at Gen Z, Millennials in the US and Globally

The streaming service released its second annual Culture Next Trends Report

Spotify teamed up with research agencies B3 Intelligence, Culture Co-op and Lucid chaofann/iStock
Headshot of David Cohen

Spotify released its second annual Culture Next Trends Report Wednesday, with the aim of providing marketers with key takeaways on Generation Z insights and cross-generational views on key topics.

The streaming service teamed up with research agencies B3 Intelligence, Culture Co-op and Lucid to analyze Gen Z and millennials in the fall and winter of 2019 running into 2020, as well as July and August 2020.

Spotify streaming intelligence data was used to mine first-party data and insights from listeners’ streaming behavior, across moments and devices.

The work was conducted in 11 markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.

Topics that were explored include Black Lives Matter, brand values education, entrepreneurism, parent-child means for connection, societal norms and expectations and voting/politics.

Spotify also created five new Gen Z audience personas to make it easier for advertisers to connect with its listeners based on their distinctive traits and characteristics: family embrace audio at home; Gen Z starting from scratch; progress overtakes partisanship; self-discovery is communal; and sound is getting smarter.

Spotify shared some highlights from its new Culture Next Trends Report:

Progress over partisanship

  • In January, 65% of Gen Zs in the U.S. aged 18 through 25 said they planned to vote in the upcoming presidential election, and that number jumped to 72% in August.
  • 71% of Gen Z and millennial respondents were less interested in political parties than they were in moving forward.
  • When asked what they wanted to see out of brands, 93% of Gen Z and millennials chose “purpose” over “politics.”

Gen Zs globally mean business

  • One out of three respondents 17 and under worldwide said they may not go to college, preferring to start a business instead.
  • 89% of Gen Zs in the U.S. considered education plans other than four-year degrees immediately following high school.
  • 65% of global Gen Zs said they plan to be or already are their own boss.
  • In July, over 50% of Gen Z respondents globally said they were more inspired to start a business than they were before the pandemic.

Gen Zs and millennials in the U.S. credit sound as therapeutic and a force for community building

  • When Gen Zs and millennials in the U.S. were asked which qualities make sound powerful to them, the top three responses were emotional, therapeutic and personal.
  • 72% said voice makes them more sentimental toward their devices, and 58% said sound is at the forefront of humanizing technology.
  • 73% said they use audio to cope with stress and anxiety.
  • 80% said music streaming services offer a gateway to other cultures.
  • In one month last year, over 60% of Spotify users discovered an artist from a country outside of their own.
  • 69% of Spotify users believe music is a great way to find community.

Getting to know (and like) mom and dad through music and podcasts

  • 77% of U.S. parents said in July that music helps families connect.
  • 64% of young people worldwide said listening to their parents’ music gives them a better sense of who their parents are.
  • 78% of parents globally said music is a way they bond with their kids.
  • 86% of parents globally said technology has fueled their family’s discovery exponentially.
  • 72% of parents globally said today’s kids are “light years” ahead of where they were at their age as a result. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.