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In India, millennials and Gen Z are consuming audio to beat stress: Spotify report

A majority of millennial and Gen Z users in India are relying on audio to beat stress, shows Spotify's Culture Next Trends report for 2021. There's also growing trust in audio and podcast resources, according to the study.

Spotify, Spotify report, Spotify Cultural trends report, Spotify report on audience, Spotify report cultural trendsSpotify's Culture Next Report for 2021 is out and here's what it reveals about it users in India. (Image: Spotify)

A majority of millennial and Generation Z (Gen Z) users in India are relying on audio to beat stress, shows Spotify’s Culture Next Trends report for 2021. Further, a majority of the users in both age groups find audio content more reliable with nearly 48 percent ranking their trust in podcasts higher than trust in traditional media sources such as national TV news, newspapers, and radio. Here are key findings from Spotify’s latest report.

Clearly a large segment of users believes that audio content is more calming and are using it to fight the pandemic induced stress. The study shows that in India nearly 87 per cent millennials (or those born in the 1980s to 1996) and 77 percent of Gen Zs (those born after 1997 till early 2010s ) agree that they use audio to reduce their stress levels. More importantly, 84 percent of millennials in India see audio as a mental health resource, while 79 percent of Gen Zs in the country believe audio to be healing.

Spotify’s data also showed that podcast listenership has boomed in the country, seeing triple digit growths with both audiences. The average podcast listenership increased 271 percent among millennials and over 300 percent among Gen Zs in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter in 2020, shows the data. For millennials (83 percent), audio is the most immersive form of media.

Mental health is clearly dominating as a topic among Indians, with the genre seeing an increase of over 600 percent among millennials and more than 900 percent among Gen Z. Other popular genres for podcasts in India are alternative health, spirituality and self-help, adds the report.

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Further, 58 percent of millennials and 76 percent of Zs said they’ve sought content from more diverse creators and podcasts in the last year. A majority of millennials (80 percent) and Gen Zs (70 percent) also agreed that podcast hosts “sometimes feel like a friend.”

Gen Z listeners also said they felt “more centered and generally happier” when listening to their favourite music on a daily basis. They are also the users streaming audio on Spotify through connected devices more often with the highest increase in in-car listening (more than 2100 percent), smart speakers (approx 360 percent ), TVs (nearly 180 percent), as well as wearable devices, desktop computers (+153 percent), and gaming consoles (+54 percent).

The importance of social media in driving listenership for audio is also clear. Around 43 percent of Gen Z Spotify users said they’ve heard a song on social media and then searched for it on the audio streaming platform.


For millennials, nostalgia reigns supreme, and many of them leaned on nostalgic playlists for relief during the pandemic. In India, they streamed ‘80s Hits nearly 195 percent more and ‘70s Love Songs 44 percent more between March 2021 and the year prior. Finally, 84 percent of millennials and 68 percent of Gen Z listeners believe music is a gateway to other cultures.

According to Spotify, nearly 71 percent of free listeners globally are under the age of 35 and the median age of its podcast listeners is 27.

First published on: 13-07-2021 at 01:53:13 pm
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