A new online study suggests that as we age, we tend to stop looking for new music and settle with what we know.
The non-scientific study, based on data collected from U.S. Spotify users and artist popularity site The Echo Nest, concludes that the magical age of 33 is when most of us give up on new music and settle for what was hot (and still might be) when we were growing up. The study’s author, a Spotify and Echo Nest employee, hypothesized:
“Two factors drive this transition away from popular music. 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. Second, listeners are returning to the music that was popular when they were coming of age — but which has since phased out of popularity.”
The spiral graph below shows that when people are younger, they listen to the most popular hits on the radio. As they grow older, the artist popularity of the music they listen to decreases. Once we hit age 33, it’s all downhill from there.