Music is many things for different people. It is a source of inspiration, a distraction, a background noise, an outlet for emotions.
Mike Serafino, 28, listens to music and other audio for longer hours now than before. “I have to,” he said, “since I need music to drown the noise to help me concentrate at my work, which I’m now doing at home.”
But aside from blocking out noise that could distract him, audio also serves as a distraction. “Sometimes, I listen to a podcast or play a TV series I already saw just for the audio to help relieve my anxiety or to just feel that I’m not alone – as if I’m surrounded by people I like.”
“It has been this way since the pandemic,” shared Serafino.
Sound has become a form of escape for Filipino millennials like him and his younger Gen Z peers, according to a report by an audio streaming platform.
The Culture Next Report 2021 of Spotify revealed 87 percent of millennials and 85 percent of Gen Zs in the Philippines use audio to reduce their stress levels.
Millennials (aged 25-40) are turning to music from the past. On Spotify, millennials streamed ‘70s love songs 59 percent more in the past year, while ‘80s hits saw a 40-percent stream increase.
Meanwhile, Gen Zs (aged 6-24) are listening to Gen Z playlists like Spotify’s “idk.” to help them feel “more centered and generally happier”.
The audio habits of these generations go beyond music, with podcast consumption in the Philippines doubling over the past year (March 2020 to March 2021), according to the same report.
Filipinos are more open to diverse voices than ever before, with 62 percent of millennials and 58 percent of Gen Zs saying they’ve sought content from more diverse creators and podcasts in the last year.
Streaming platforms at large, including audio, have significantly shaped how these two generations discover and connect with others. Over 70 percent of Pinoy millennials and Gen Zs use music to learn about cultures and experiences that differ from their own. Majority of them have become part of a global community because of music or podcasts.