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Gen Z and What Spotify’s Global Trend Report Reveals about It



Gen Z is not all sus and unhinged, it’s the new generation that challenges social norms, social constructs, and society as a whole. But isn’t it about time?

Gen Z and What Spotify’s Global Trend Report Reveals about It

Whether it’s breaking barriers or bearing the brunt of the world’s looming instability, Gen Z is at the forefront of it.

Members of Gen Z — loosely, people born from 1995 to 2010, are emerging to the centre stage of culture, entering the workforce, and writing a new script for activism, and social and political issues. This generation is unafraid to speak up and ready to change the face of society for the greater good. They are embracing the weird and the wonderful, “search for truth”, the main character's energy; but they are also embracing “constant exposure to grim realities”. Breathe. Imagine waking up one day to rising energy bills while oil companies swam in record profits, climate change emergency, food poverty, recession, and war, to name a few. Now breathe.

What is this macro dosing may I ask? There are too many elephants in the room that Alexandra Burke can’t even cope with.

Of course, it is happening to anyone, but for those who are still on a quest of figuring out themselves, their identities, and their journeys, it adds an extra layer of anxiety. If it were a movie, it’d be a coming-of-age movie with Blade Runner 2049 vibes.

McKinsey and Company dubbed this generation the “True Gen” whereby “its search for authenticity generates greater freedom of expression and greater openness to understanding different kinds of people.” With the core of the idea being “ manifesting individual identity”, consumption with Gen Z is about personalisation, connection, and embracing the causes that they identify with. This growing cohort will be the pivotal generation to workforce, consumption, technology, and retail,… Wearing their hearts on their sleeves with everything at their disposal, Gen Z is here to stay, or slay.

Spotify recently released its latest Global Trends Report Gen Z Creator Edition which is an insightful resource. According to the report, “Gen Zs construct the next era of culture, blurring the line between consumption and creation”. Finding and navigating their places in the world — and bearing in mind all the external pressure — Gen Zs turn to audio to “understand and enhance their journeys”. In the book “Everybody Lies”, author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz discussed how people reveal themselves and confess their secrets to Google and how Google search data could have predicted Trump’s election. That is to say that, when people are real and honest with themselves and data can be captured, it is usually the data that needs to be looked at. Being the world’s most popular audio streaming platform with 433m users across 183 markets, Spotify can tell you a thing or two about you. 5 months until 2022 Wrapped — mark my words!

Those five trends can reveal more or less about the generation that is shaping narratives.

Chasing Creators: Beyhive, Little Monsters, Lambily… Sounds familiar? We’ve been talking about fan culture and fandom for a very long time but Gen Z is taking it to a new realm of a “stan culture”. It’s not about the parasocial relationships anymore, but about the reciprocal relationships which will “foster tight-knit fan bases with deeper, more meaningful connections”. It’s about the journey between creators and fans to build a digital community.

Alter Ego Audio: Gen Zs aspire to stand out. Perplexed by the world’s social upheaval and their identities, Gen Zs feel the need for freedom of expression and exploring themselves. 79% said audio allows them to explore different sides of their personalities. “Zs globally even created 79% of all Spotify playlists with “POV” in the title” to embrace the main character energy vibes”. Beyonce said UNIQUE! Takeaways from Spotify are to reveal a new side to Gen Z and to make discovery a part of their daily routine.

Hear it Out: “Podcasts have become a space for Gen Z to work through life’s most complex issues”. Coming out of a period where everyone was isolated, podcasts offer a means to help young people connect and gain new perspectives as they’re navigating through life. From relationship advice to mental health issues and social justice, podcasts have become a primary resource for Gen Zs.

Nouveau Nostalgia: In a time of uncertainty, nostalgia has been shown to “provide a sense of comfort”. The hashtag #Y2K has amassed 8.1 billion views on TikTok. Fortune also pointed out that by turning to the Y2K era, burned-out Gen Zs are searching for comfort and driving the throwback economy. “Brands today need to understand how nuanced nostalgia has become to connect with this gen.”

Life in Stereo: With Gen Z at the forefront of culture and shaping the narratives, they’re constantly looking to curate and tell stories about themselves. It’s the opportunity for brands to take them on a journey and create something authentic and personalised.

The full report is available here.

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Manifest, Mon, 13 Mar 2023 08:42:33 GMT