New Study Analyzes Why We Think Music Was Better Back in the Day
Published Apr 23, 2015At some point, almost every child becomes embarrassed about their parents' musical tastes — hence the pejorative term "dad rock." Now, a new study from Skynet & Ebert's Ajay Kalia sheds some light on the exact moment when adults lose touch with popular music.
The new study posted this week utilizes listening data from individual American Spotify users, along with popularity figures from the Echo Nest. It looks at Spotify users by age, and then measures their listening habits in terms of whether they listen to popular mainstream artists.
The findings? Teenagers listen almost exclusively to very popular music, but this percentage plummets very quickly until the listener is about 25. From there, listeners continue to lose touch with modern music before levelling out at around the age of 33. That graph above shows how the trend plays out.
All this suggests that, by the time you're in you're early 30s, your music tastes are pretty much stuck, and you aren't likely to become any more in touch with current trends than you already are.
There are a few other factors that have an impact on the results. According to the study, people with kids lose touch with modern music a lot more quickly than their childless peers do (remember what we were saying about "dad rock"?). Furthermore, women tend to keep up-to-date with popular music for longer than men do.
So what does all this mean for modern music fans? It means that, decades from now, when we listen to artists like Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar, our kids will inevitably complain about our lame old music and then go back to listening to robo-future-core or whatever's popular at the time.
Check out the study here. Of course, as some commenters have pointed out, the article does have its limitation, considering its reliance on Spotify, but it's interesting nonetheless.