In the global digital age, culture is constantly growing, morphing, and being redefined. It never stays the same—and anyone, anywhere, can influence its course. So what does that mean for advertisers?
For this fifth iteration of Culture Next—Spotify’s annual Gen Z trend report—we reexamined the habits, behaviors and opinions of Zs and their millennial counterparts who drive culture on Spotify. For brands with ambitions to join them—and remain culturally relevant amidst constant change—consider this your guide.
Zs crave depth. Headline-skimming isn’t enough for them; their genuine desire is to dive deeper—underneath the superficial surface they often find on social media—and discover more about culture, the world, and themselves. Spotify meets them where they want to be: below the surface, deep-diving into the topics they care about most, though music and podcasts.91% of Gen Z Spotify users say they use Spotify to dive deep into the music and podcasts they love.1
"It feels almost like a relief to sink into [podcasts]... Like I'm relaxing into this hour-long experience I've chosen to participate in."
Want to join Zs on a deep dive into audio culture?
SCHOOL OF TALK
Fueled by diverse perspectives and honest debate, podcasts are at the front lines of next-gen education—disrupting how, what, and where young people learn. With Spotify as their global classroom, Zs are able to proactively curate their own curriculum and immerse themselves in unfamiliar areas of culture. Podcasts also let Zs easily tap into the latest thought leadership on relationships, politics, and myriad other topics from influential podcasters shaping the minds of the next gen.58% of Zs say podcasts bring them closer to the zeitgeist of culture than any other form of media.2
“All anyone at Spotify talks about is community… There are 500 million people using this platform… Podcast listeners are more engaged and loyal [to hosts] than they are to certain celebrities because this is a relationship, we’re a family, this is a friendship. We talk every single week.”
Host of Call Her Daddy
Want to reach Gen Z podcast listeners?
Now, music trends driven by Gen Z reverberate at supersonic speeds—bouncing farther and faster than ever. From Northern Mexico’s brass-tastic Banda, to South Africa’s Amapiano house, to Moscow’s homegrown hip-hop genre, Phonk, a multitude of local sounds have strutted into the worldwide spotlight. Zs are becoming increasingly borderless—and keeping up with this trend is a non-negotiable for brands who hope to keep their finger on the pulse.73% of Zs agree that culture today is more diverse (rather than homogenized) than it was five years ago, thanks to digital streaming.3
“Spotify is making the world smaller and helping artists reach audiences they previously couldn’t.”
Spotify's Global Head of Editorial
Sources: 1,2, and 3. Spotify Culture Next survey, June 2023