With audio, there's just so much more freedom. I got a phone, I got a mic, we got a camera—let's go.
37, Compton, CA
The "It" source
Podcast creators are fast becoming the front page, the six o’clock news, the silver screen, and the classroom for a new generation of “cord nevers” — Gen Zs who already turn to their phones as their primary news source. As for millennials, they’re still tuning into their favorite shows (and hosts) for credible information about the world around them.
Unlike traditional broadcasters, who rarely go off-script, audio creators often reveal their vulnerable and raw “real” selves — which listeners are more likely to feel intimately connected with. The intimate connection forged between audio creators and listeners is a gold mine for brands. Podcasts have proven to be a uniquely effective ad environment: 41% of all global listeners say they trust ads more if they hear them during a podcast and 81% report that they’ve taken an action after hearing a podcast ad.1
The old gatekeepers of culture no longer have all the control. Millennials and Gen Zs crave (and demand) representation, and actively seek to uplift voices and viewpoints that have historically been underrepresented by mainstream media.
A wave of new audio creators has been swept into the forefront of culture by the convergence of affordable digital tools and platforms, and the conviction that their songs and stories have been left out of culture for far too long. Through audio, millennial and Gen Z creators are finding a medium ready to embrace projects that represent and empower them and their communities.
of global Gen Z creators feel that digital technology makes it easier than ever to be a cultural curator.Source: Spotify Culture Next survey, Global, among 9,000 respondents 15- 40, April 2021
For millennial and Gen Z creators, cultural curation is essential to their artistic expression. It's no longer just a form of aggregation — it has real generative power. The ability to pull from different sounds, genres, cultures, and beyond enables their output to be continually fresh. Gen Zs actively use curation to carve out their own identities, and millennials know how to leverage it to keep their audiences interested.
Empowered to pick and choose from a vast, global platform of sounds, curators are presenting listeners with content from all over the world, crossing genres and encouraging a spirit of open-minded listening. It's an excellent way for creators to ensure their place in cultural conversations, showcasing their own tastes and celebrating their influences.
What it means for brands
Brands have tons of opportunities to connect with audiences by understanding the relationship between creators and audiences. Advertisers can tap into creators and fans on Spotify with ads that reach listeners as they stream the content they love. Check out even more best practices for advertising to millennials and Gen Zs on Spotify:
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1 Spotify & Crowd DNA, “We’re All Ears,” U.S., 2018.
2 Custom Nielsen Ad Format study commissioned by Spotify. Survey conducted from November 20 - December 9, 2020. Sample of 5,999 respondents age 18+ who are podcast listeners and Spotify users.