Music streaming service Spotify said in its annual trends report, ‘Culture Next,’ that Indians use sound as a therapeutic medium, and that 76% of respondents from the millennial and Gen Z cohorts revealing that they use audio to cope with stress and anxiety.
Other findings from the survey include the rise of podcasts as a medium for self-discovery; 60% of people listened to podcasts for the same, while 84% Indians said that music streaming services opened a portal to other cultures.
Spotify, which launched in India in January 2019, has been relatively successful in ingratiating itself with Indians. The Swedish company now has a market share of 15%, according to a study by OTT Audience Measurement Insight. It still lags behind Gaana and JioSaavn, which have market shares of 30% and 24% respectively. Gaana is backed by Times Internet, which also publishes The Economic Times. Spotify’s annual trends report offers a window into the lives of young subscribers, as they cope with the stress and anxiety wrought by the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout. Accord to the report, Spotify listeners have added more mellow songs since March, cutting across genres like acoustic, instrumental, and those with lower BPM.
The report cites respondents saying that mellow soundtracks had helped them maintain their mental balance and “ignore unnecessary conflicts.” Health-related podcasts, while not the best for alleviating anxiety, also saw a spike in downloads, mostly in the United States. Self-improvement podcasts, and tips for guided meditation were also very popular.
“It’s impossible to say exactly how this year’s events will shape our future. Still, these months have clarified—and in some ways accelerated—cultural trends that Gen Zs and millennials have been shaping for years,” said Dawn Ostroff, Spotify’s chief content & advertising business officer.
“Gen Z’s are reconsidering college—one in three might not go at all. They’re rethinking the workforce—65% plan to be (or already are) their own boss. Millennials join them in shaking off old-school partisan labels, focusing on progress instead. And both generations overwhelmingly view 2020 as a ‘cultural wake-up call’,” she added.
Spotify used Streaming Intelligence, a predictive engine that feeds on users’ streaming behaviour on its platform, to compile the report. Ostroff said one of the objectives of this exercise was to understand the younger generation’s hopes, aspirations, and worldviews.
In India, two in three Gen Zs – those fall in the 15-25 age group – said they plan to be, or are, their own boss. Indians are known to be conservative in their choice of higher education, with very few opting to take a gap year or gain practical work experience prior to college – practices that are more common in the West. According to the report, 61% Gen Z respondents said they considered education plans other than enrolling for a degree immediately after high school.
A further result of the study was that Indian youngsters were omnivorous in their musical preferences, listening to at least five genres regularly. The top five podcasts in India were ‘The Ranveer Show’, ‘Maha Bharat with Dhruv Rathee’, ‘Harry Potter at Home: Readings’, ‘On Purpose with Jay Shetty’, and ‘TED Talks Daily’.