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Teens are cool, Spotify's data proves it

Teens are cool, Spotify's data proves it


Where does Nickelback fit into this?

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According to data from Spotify, assumptions about our taste in music are true: the older we get, the worst our taste. I guess this means I should stop giving my dad a hard time about his CD of cocktail lounge covers of Celine Dion.

Spotify's Ajay Kalia includes the data and helpful charts in a blog post titled "'Music was better back then': When do we stop keeping up with popular music?" The post compares the "individual listening data from US Spotify users and combines that with Echo Nest artist popularity data to generate a metric for the average popularity of the artists a listener streamed in 2014."

Kalia found teens listen to the most popular music, men's listening of mainstream music declines faster than that of women, and people with kids listen to popular music less regularly than someone their age without kids. The post has plenty of other interesting info, but this chart, showing the spiral away from coolness, is the centerpiece.

Spotify chart

The obvious rebuttal to this post is that older people have better taste in music, because pop music isn't music at all, but an audio sedative designed by grown-ups to control teenagers with its hypnotic repetition. That's what I'll tell myself as I listen to my Paul Simon playlist.

This is the latest in decades worth of research into music tastes. Here's another post, shared by Kalia, that provides that additional context.