The Unconventional Music Tastes and Habits of Gen Z
Gen Z Music Culture
Gen Z relies on social media, streaming apps, and their friends to discover new music. They also turn to online fan communities for inspiration and collaborations with their favorite creators.
This generation eschews labels, whether musical or identitarian. That’s why it makes sense that they would enjoy a TikTok-famous black queer rapper producing a megapopular country music song.
Gen Z’s love for playlists
Gen Z is a generation that values the individuality of audio. They want to hear from their favorite creators in the ways that best reflect their personalities and tastes. This includes music festivals that allow them to connect with artists in person, as well as online communities where they can talk about the latest content.
This is one reason why Gen Z is rekindling the vinyl revival trend, as they seek experiences that can better connect them with their idols and other fans. For example, digital streaming platforms are now enabling creators to sell physical editions of their music directly to fans.
This generation is also very connected to the world’s cultures, and they listen to more international music than any other demographic. They also trust social media accounts and online fan communities as sources for discovering new music, ahead of recommendations from friends or a radio station. The global nature of this generation’s music habits makes it a valuable market to target for brands.
Gen Z’s love for vinyl
From their parents’ wardrobes to retro video games, Gen Zers have a fascination with all things older. This same mindset has brought vinyl back to life, with sales increasing year over year. According to MRC Data, Gen Zers have been credited with the revival of this classic format.
As a group, this generation prefers hip-hop and rap music. They also have a taste for EDM artists such as Martin Garrix and Marshmello. They like songs with catchy beats and energetic performances.
Besides these genres, this generation loves bands and singers that are creative and unique. This is reflected in their music, where you can find lyrics that discuss mental health and personal experiences. They appreciate artists who are honest and authentic, such as Billie Eilish and H.E.R. They also like to attend music festivals and events. This gives brands a chance to connect with them and gain their loyalty. However, brands should keep in mind that these activities must be authentic and genuine.
Gen Z’s love for social media
While there are many different things that distinguish Gen Z from their parents’ generations, the most important thing is that they are a social media-centric generation. They believe that they can better themselves through the content they consume, from watching makeup tutorials to finding new clothes and beauty products on Instagram.
They also love when their favorite artists reach out to them directly on platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. They are 1.3x more likely to get fashion inspiration from macro-influencers on Instagram than from fashion magazines or traditional TV shows.
In addition to listening to music through streaming services, they also enjoy getting into the groove with live musicians by attending concerts. Gen Z is drawn to artists who are not afraid to blend genres and break traditional boundaries. This trend is evident in the genre-fluid styles of Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, and Olivia Rodrigo. Gen Zers prefer playlists to albums, 89% to 45%. This reflects their preference for genre-switching, as well as the desire to “bottle” specific feelings.
Gen Z’s love for music
Gen Zs want music that is authentic, and lyrical themes such as mental health struggles, heartbreak and personal experiences resonate with them. It’s not uncommon for this generation to go to the source to discover new artists – they’re turning to their favorite artists’ social media accounts, online fan communities and streaming app recommendations.
The late Juice Wrld’s unique emo-rap style is one example of this. Gen Z also favors genre-blending and bending. Artists like Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X and Olivia Rodrigo use pop, rock, hip hop and electronic music to create their own distinctive sounds.
As a result, Gen Z is spending more time with music than any other age group. And while listening to the radio remains important, this generation prefers discovering music on their own terms – on social media or via a streaming service like Spotify. This makes it an ideal audience for emerging talent to reach and engage with.