New research suggests your music tastes stop developing by age 33
If you’re in your mid-30s, chances are you’ve found the type of music you’ll be listening to for the rest of your life. In fact, you may already be succumbing to the “music was better in my day” phenomenon. At least these are the conclusions of a new study by tech blogger Skynet & Ebert, who found that as listeners age throughout their 20s, their tastes slowly begin to recede from popular music.
The research was done by examining Spotify listener data in the US and merging it with artist popularity rankings from Echo Nest. As you’d expect, popular or mainstream music is most prevalent among teens, before slowly dropping off in frequency in one’s 20s. “As users age out of their teens and into their 20s,” Skynet & Ebert says, “their path takes them out of the center of the popularity circle. Until their early 30s, mainstream music represents a smaller and smaller proportion of their streaming.”
According to their infographic, by age 33, our tastes have essentially stopped developing. “For the average listener,” Skynet & Ebert says, “by their mid-30s, their tastes have matured, and they are who they’re going to be.”
Perhaps most interesting is the difference in men and women’s listening trends. As the data suggests, “men and women listen similarly in their their teens, but after that, men’s mainstream music listening decreases much faster than it does for women.” Skynet & Ebert propose the pervasiveness of female-skewed artists and singles as one of the main factors behind the disparity.
All in all, the research negates the idea of music being better in a previous age. Rather, if you find yourself yearning for a bygone musical era, chances are you’re experiencing (or have already experienced) the inevitable mid-30s “taste freeze.”
Read Skynet & Ebert’s full report here.