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Spotify big data spots age related trends

Even though we love a good opportunity to rail against mass data collection, there is some interesting information that can come out of it. Take Spotify's look at the habits of its millions of users, which has pointed out that age seems to be a big factor in a user's music listening habits.

For example, young teens are most interested in popular music, which by its nature tends to be the music put in-front of them most often. However, as their age increases through their late teens and into their early 20s, people tend to diverge from the mainstream and discover music that appeals to them more uniquely.

“We’re starting to listen to “our” music, not “the” music,” the service said in an Insights blog post. That trend of stepping away from what youngsters are listening too continues throughout the 20s and tends to peak around the mid 30s, before taking a slight dip back towards popularity in early 40s. Suggesting perhaps, as Spotify does, that people have a bit of a musical mid-life crisis at some point.


However what's also quite interesting to note from the information, is that being a parent drastically changes your music tastes. Almost regardless of age, parents have a statistical likelihood to be less interested in popular music than non-parents.

What's interesting though is that all of this is data based on music listening, rather than music buying. Jay-Z and fellow millionaire artists might like people to believe that other streaming companies are only about money, but Spotify's data is much more focused on entertainment than traditional services. Downloads are a way of tracking purchases, but streams are a way of tracking actual listens. The stats here are based on what people spend time listening too, not just what they bought. That's very different.

KitGuru Says: My music tastes are all over the place, with much of it being background music that I can write too. Still, I did love that John Carpenter inspired album.

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