85% GenZs said audio allows them to explore different sides of their personality: Report

According to a report from audio streaming platform Spotify, 80% of GenZs in India say that audio allows them to explore the outer fringes of culture that they would not otherwise experience. The report also highlights that 85% said audio allows them to explore different sides of their personalities. Just over 80% of Z’s in India believe their listening habits tell a story about who they are, and feel they have learned something about themselves by looking back at their listening habits. Worldwide, the creators of this generation are also using audio to make alter egos mainstream. The same sentiment is echoed in India, with 71% of Zs appreciating it when audio creators take on different personas or characters.

What does this mean for brands?

Z’s look for opportunities to embrace the unique, multifaceted aspects of who they are. With fluid personalities that can change by the day (or the hour), you can use a playlist generator that analyzes their listening habits to reveal something new about themselves. Brands can also sponsor playlists that put quality first, genres last, and target microgenres. And finally, they can make discovery part of Z’s daily routine with Spotify’s real-time audience and contextual targeting to reach the right Zs at the right time with new, unexpected messages.

Spotify has announced the fourth volume of Culture Next, the annual global culture and trends report. This year, the focus is on Gen Z’s role as trendsetters, fans, and most importantly, individuals navigating and defining their place in the world of audio. This is India’s third year in the report, out of a total of 17 Spotify markets.

In India, the report highlights the deep relationship between creators and listeners, the role of audio in exploring all parts of the listener’s personality, the growing importance of podcasts as a trusted ‘friend’ and the integration of nostalgia into contemporary culture. . Shared below are the main takeaways:

Gen Z is revolutionizing the relationship between audio creators and their fans

The creator-fan relationship is shifting towards a one-way exchange with creators using the digital worlds built by them or their fans to foster close-knit communities with deeper, more meaningful connections.

As creators, their approaches to music and podcasts are forging entirely new aesthetics, genres, and fandoms, and as listeners, their tastes and habits are fluid and say a lot about who they are.

Conversations between artists and fans through social media and social audio add even more access and intimacy to the creator-fan relationship.

Zs audio immersion even turns into fantasy with almost 90% of them in India listening to music from a movie or show that they like to feel like they are a character in the story.

More than 50% of Zs in India said they have joined a digital community, such as a subreddit or Discord, as fans of a particular creator.

What does this mean for brands?

Brands can bridge the gap between audio creators and their biggest fans by passing the microphone on to the creators. Create a podcast or turn a podcast ad campaign into an audio series with bonus content from the hosts, such as unaired bloopers and candid conversations. This builds a connection between the listener, their favorite podcaster or artist, and the brand.

Gen Z turns to podcasts to work through life’s most complex issues

Podcasts have seen a significant increase, especially among 18-24 year olds, as they have evolved from a source of entertainment to a tool for teaching and learning.

Because Zs feel more stressed than millennials, the former have a greater need to process their raw emotions and audio, especially podcasts, provides critical support.

In the past year alone, the average number of podcast listeners among Z’s in India saw a whopping 141% increase on Spotify between Q1 2022 and the year before. Now nearly two-thirds of 18-24 year olds in India listen to podcasts at least weekly.

Just over 75% of Zs in India said they use podcasts to get answers to difficult or personal questions before discussing them with their families, and 74% of the same group said they listen to podcasts to engage in conversations with their families. inform friends.

Mental health, the top podcast genre among Zs worldwide, witnessed impressive growth with a 56% increase in the number of Zs streams in India in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the year before

What does this mean for brands?

There is an option to use ‘Host Reads’ to build trust. Since podcasts are such an intimate audio format, Gen Z feels especially close to their favorite hosts. Use Host Talent ads, created and voiced by the show host in the show style, in podcasts where personal anecdotes can complement clear brand messages.

Gen Z innovates by filtering throwbacks through a contemporary lens

While all generations look back fondly on past eras, the Zs are reinventing nostalgia. With the instability of recent years, nostalgia has been shown to provide a sense of comfort amid uncertainty for this generation.

When asked to rank the emotion they feel most when listening to past music, Z’s worldwide said “energetic” as much as “comfort.”

On social media, Z’s mixes old hits with new visual trends like lip syncs, dances, makeup tutorials, fit checks, among others – to go viral.

Just over 75% of Z’s in India like it when brands bring back old aesthetic styles.

74% of Z’s in India said they enjoy listening to and watching media from earlier decades because it reminds them of when things were simpler.

What does this mean for brands?

Z’s are nostalgic, but they are also future-oriented. Brands can use contextual targeting to reach them when listening to nostalgic, sentimental and other moody playlists, or even invite an artist to discuss how they use musical cues from the past. They can also bring your brand’s sound to life with curated branded playlists, harking back to the decades and genres that match your brand’s personality.

According to Arjun Kolady, Head of Sales – India, Spotify, self-expression and creativity are core components of how Gen Zs navigate the world. “Now they don’t just rely on music artists, podcasts and playlists to shape the stories they tell about themselves – they also invite brands to reflect and broadcast their personal stories. but also to learn more about the lives they lead and how they see the world, especially through Spotify’s diverse range of audio content coupled with the advertising offerings,” he added.

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