New survey reveals shifts in music listening behavior

Foreword: Generation Z (or Gen Z) is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials. Researchers and popular media use the mid to late 1990s as starting birth years and the 2010s as ending birth years. Members of Generation Z have been dubbed "digital natives".

The US-based survey, conducted in November 2021, polled 2,000 general population adults who regularly listen to music for at least one hour per day. The survey examined their listening behavior, purchase decisions, and habits formed from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A number of respondents feel like they were born in the wrong era because of their taste in music, which was highest among Gen Z. This has led to the increased popularity of iconic songs and artists being rediscovered or discovered for the first time.

  • 60% feel like they were born in the wrong era because of their taste in music, which was highest among Gen Z (nearly 80%). For most, the era that most closely matches their taste in music was the 2000s.
  • Almost 50% have recently discovered a song released over a decade ago, which was highest among Gen Z respondents (nearly 70%).
  • Almost 50% stated they had rediscovered an iconic song or album within the past two years, particularly Gen Z (over 66%).
  • Most respondents, close to 70%, are embarrassed to share their music playlists with others, particularly their boss.

Social media is the most significant influence shaping how people discover new music, while movies and TV shows play an equally important role.

  • 57% said social media is the top way they discover music.
  • While YouTube is the most popular platform for discovering music, according to 79% surveyed, Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok significantly influence how people find new songs.
  • Almost 25% of people who recently discovered a song released over a decade ago attribute this discovery to a viral video on social media.
  • 60% have also discovered a new artist or song after watching a TV show or movie.

Does this mean quality music has been in a decline for the last 20 years? While the quality of recording and playback technology is the best it's ever been, the quality of musicianship has declined. People are getting lazier and rely on techology to fix everything, they put out half-baked tracks because their fans request new stuff every week. There are too many people thinking they can be artists and 99% of them are not gifted, they shouldn't be polluting the internet with their 'songs'.

When true artists that are still around today will come to the end of their career, people will realize the sorry state that music is in.

Source for statistics: New Survey from Dolby Reveals Shifts in Music Listening Behavior Among Adults in the U.S.

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