Spotify’s 2023 Culture Next Report: Unlocking the Pulse of Gen Z

Spotify Culture Next 2023
Spotify Culture Next 2023

In an ever-evolving digital landscape where trends come and go at a breakneck pace, staying attuned to the cultural heartbeat of Generation Z is vital for brands, marketers, and anyone looking to connect with the next wave of consumers.

Spotify, a global music streaming giant, recognizes this and has once again unveiled its annual Culture Next report for 2023, offering deep insights into the cultural preferences and trends of Gen Z, those born between 1999 and 2014.

This year’s report is thoughtfully divided into three sections: Deep Cuts, School of Talk, and Echo Culture, each shedding light on the evolving landscape of music, podcasting, and the thirst for global knowledge.

Check at the bottom of the article for the full report.

Spotify’s Culture Next Report for 2023

Deep Cuts: A Dive Beyond the Surface

Gen Z is hungry for substance. They want to delve beneath the superficiality often found on social media and connect with culture, the world, and themselves on a more profound level. Spotify, with its vast collection of music and innovative features like Blend, Niche Mixes, and AI-powered DJ, is the platform of choice for this generation’s cultural explorations. In fact, a resounding 78% of Gen Z in the US agree that Spotify takes them deeper into culture.

Music is a vital part of this journey. Gen Z is using Spotify’s AI-powered DJ to stream over 1.5 billion minutes of music and recommendations globally, showing their enthusiasm for discovering and connecting through music.

The Gen Z community is also keen on building meaningful connections with friends, as they made up nearly two-thirds (58%) of total US Blend playlist shares in the first half of 2023.

Podcasts have also emerged as a valuable medium for deeper cultural reporting and storytelling.

The completion rates for categories like True Crime and Comedy remain consistently high, with an average completion rate of over 80%.

Gen Z, in particular, seems to appreciate the depth that podcasts offer, with 72% agreeing that podcasts take them to the core of any subject.

School of Talk: Podcasts as a Catalyst for Learning

Podcasts have become the new frontier of education, profoundly altering how and what young people learn.

In the US, Gen Z’s podcast consumption in the Education category has surged by 53% in the past year, demonstrating their growing appetite for knowledge. Other categories such as Religion/Spirituality (+67%), Health & Fitness (+81%), Government (+59%), and History (+36%) also reflect their diverse interests.

Spotify is essentially their global classroom, allowing them to curate their own curriculum and immerse themselves in unfamiliar areas of culture.

What’s particularly striking is that over half of Gen Z podcast listeners in the US (53%) claim to have learned about a community they’re not a part of, something they probably wouldn’t have learned about elsewhere.

Additionally, three-quarters of Zs in the US (75%) state that podcasts teach them about topics they wish they’d learned about in school. This underscores the significance of podcasts as a tool for addressing gaps in traditional education.

Echo Culture: A Borderless Generation

Gen Z is the most globally-minded generation, and their interest in global communities continues to deepen as viral trends shape the pace of cultural evolution. According to the report, 76% of Zs in the US agree that viral trends cause culture to evolve quicker than ever before. This generation, even in the face of busy lives and long content queues, remains committed to keeping up with culture.

Their approach to media consumption is notably different, with 36% of Zs in the US listening to podcasts at a faster-than-normal speed and two-thirds (63%) playing songs at a quicker tempo. This inclination to speed up content consumption underscores their eagerness to explore and consume more culture in less time.

As these local sounds reverberate around the globe, Gen Z is becoming increasingly borderless. They use music and podcasts as a way to learn about cultures and experiences that differ from their own.

As Sullina Ong, Spotify’s Global Head of Editorial, aptly puts it, “Spotify is making the world smaller and helping artists reach audiences they previously couldn’t.”

The platform’s role in connecting cultures, breaking down geographical boundaries, and promoting diverse voices is evident in the behaviors of Gen Z users.

The Methodology behind Spotify’s Culture Next report for 2023

Spotify’s Culture Next report for 2023 draws from a comprehensive methodology, combining qualitative, quantitative, and first-party data analysis. It explores distinct segments of Gen Z based on life stage, and the findings are reinforced by in-depth interviews, focus groups, and a global quantitative survey. The insights are further grounded in Spotify’s unique Streaming Intelligence and first-party data.

In a rapidly changing world, Spotify’s Culture Next report is an invaluable resource for understanding the desires, interests, and behaviors of Generation Z. By providing a window into their cultural journey, Spotify not only helps brands and marketers connect with Gen Z but also enriches the cultural landscape for everyone.

Read the complete report.