Those of you who are coming up on the big 3-0, or who recently made that great leap into full-fledged adulthood, we have some rather awkward news for you – you will soon be saying goodbye to new music.
At least, that’s what a new online study seems to indicate. The study, which used mainly data drawn from US-based Spotify users, concluded that 33 is the average age when people stop discovering new music.
The authors of the study analysed Spotify user data, as well as artist popularity data from The Echo Nest, which serves as an online database of music data (naturally, it’s now owned by Spotify).
After slicing and dicing the numbers, the authors came up with the graph you see below. It’s okay, we have absolutely no idea what’s going on either, but thankfully, the crew at The AV Club can lend a helping hand.
The visualisation begins at the centre of the nebula, which is occupied mostly by teens, who listen almost exclusively to the top Billboard hits. But age forces an outward spiral, since those teens mature and develop new tastes.
The chart-addicted teens turn into twentysomethings who are more interested in creating individual musical identities for themselves. That identity then pretty much sticks for the rest of your life.
Following your 20s, taste levels off and begins a long stasis, right as we begin to hit our mid-30s. According to the blog where the research was published, Skynet & Ebert, two factors are at play here.
“First, listeners discover less-familiar music genres that they didn’t hear on FM radio as early teens, from artists with a lower popularity rank,” they write. Makes sense.
“Second, listeners are returning to the music that was popular when they were coming of age — but which has since phased out of popularity.” Yep, the older you get, the more you want to hear the stuff you’re used to.
Interestingly, the study also claims that parents achieve stasis earlier than their childless peers, possibly as a result of being too busy raising a crying, screaming infant to bother checking out what’s hot on The Hype Machine.
It’ll be interesting to see how findings for studies such as Skynet & Ebert‘s will develop in the future, as easy access to music of just about every genre you could think of becomes easier by the day.