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Over 40 and love Top 40? Spotify says that’s your ‘musical midlife crisis’ kicking in

people stop listening to new music after age 33 middle aged man
Are you over the latest trends in pop music? According to new Spotify research, you may come back again by the time you’re 42.

As part of its research on the relationship between age and musical taste, the streaming music service has found that 42 is the age when middle-aged listeners again listen to current popular music.

“During the teenage years, we embrace music at the top of the charts more than at any other time in our lives. As we grow older, our taste in music diverges sharply from the mainstream up to age 25,” explained Spotify data scientist Eliot Van Buskirk via a blog post.

“Music taste reaches maturity at age 35. Around age 42, music taste briefly curves back to the popular charts — a musical midlife crisis and attempt to harken back to our youth, perhaps?”

Ajay Kalia — who spearheaded the research as Spotify’s “taste profiles” overseer — further found differences in men and women’s listening profiles. While men and women listen to similar music in their teens, “men’s mainstream music listening decreases much faster than it does for women, ” Kalia writes in his summary of the research.

Spotify’s research is part of the streaming service’s push to better predict your musical tastes. With the help of music analysis service The Echo Nest (which Spotify acquired last year), the service hopes to differentiate itself from say, Pandora or  the upcoming Apple-Beats streaming service, by serving you up the best music recommendations. Each music streaming service has its own data analytics team, but as of yet, Spotify has the most public one.

The upshot of this research, though, is simple: Spotify is likely to recommend Taylor Swift and Imagine Dragons to you when you’re young, and again when you start creeping into your 40s. Whether you like them or not is your choice — we won’t judge.

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