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Gen Z Dismiss "life's Blueprint" And Set Their Own Path, Prioritising Living For Today

Secret Sounds Connect, the commercial rights, experiential and creative agency, part of the Live Nation Entertainment group of businesses, has released its annual research study ‘Love Song’ - a deep-dive into the cultural and social trends shaping 2024 and beyond.

Collating responses from more than 2,680 Gen Z’ers across New Zealand and Australia, the study reveals that the majority have discarded the “life blueprint” of their predecessors, with a focus on living in the moment, being happy and bonding with friends above being successful in their career (29%), getting married (13%) having kids (33%) or buying a house (26%).

Music continues to be their leading passion, with 89% saying music is integral to who they are. 70% of Gen Z attend a live music event at least once a month, with Live Nation reporting a 79% increase in ticket sales in 2023 across New Zealand and Australia. Second to friends, music artists are the most trusted among Gen Z (79%).

With over half of Gen Z not surprised if the world ended within their lifetime, they are well and truly living for today, with 81% saying that “I try to have as much fun now and let the future look after itself” (up from 74% in 2023). Splurges and spending on “little treats” has become a significant trend, with 94% prioritising things that bring them joy. 90% prefer to spend money on experiences over possessions, with 66% saving for an experience or travel over long-term assets such as a house or car.

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Kristy Rosser, Founder of Secret Sounds Connect and Senior Vice President, Marketing Solutions & Client Services at Live Nation ANZ, said: “Our annual ‘Love Song’ study provides valuable insights into Gen Z, the world’s largest generation, which is continually being shaped by global events and the economy. There has been a marked shift in priorities when comparing Gen Z to previous generations. ‘Love Song’ helps brands stay up to date with trends, and to understand and connect with Gen Z culture, values and passions.”

Additional insights from ‘Love Song’ include:

83% want to experience real over digital life, with 87% seeking out real-world connections now more than ever before.

Niche is the new norm. 82% claim that “being weird” is in, and 58% say the more absurd something is, the cooler it becomes.

“Rizz” - Oxford’s word of 2023 - represents Gen Z’s desire for individual expression, with 87% of Gen Z preferring to be seen as “authentic” rather than “cool.” 70% say that becoming ‘cool’ happens when you give up caring what others think.

62% want to stand out rather than blend in, with 95% saying dopamine dressing is IN for 2024, along with country music - over a quarter of Gen Z listen to the genre on a regular basis.

As social media platforms have moved further towards entertainment and commerce, 78% said they prefer to share life updates in private chats over public posts.

Tik Tok creators are looked upon more favourably than Instagram influencers with trust levels at 36% vs. 26%. The majority of Gen Z prefer raw, imperfect content over what they describe as an "ick" polished lifestyle.

Frances Deighton, Strategy Lead for Partnerships at Live Nation and Secret Sounds Connect said: “We’re committed to helping our partners stay at the forefront of what youth audiences value so they can place their brands at the heart of the cultural moment. The world and consumer tastes change so quickly and brands need to continue being dynamic and adaptable when it comes to reaching Gen Z audiences."

Part of the Live Nation Entertainment group of businesses, Secret Sounds Connect is a market-leading commercial rights, experiential and creative services agency, responsible for developing and executing brand campaigns in music and entertainment. The team integrates brands into unforgettable moments for music lovers, representing live events such as Rhythm & Vines, Splendour in the Grass and Spilt Milk, produced by Kicks Entertainment.

Secret Sounds Connect partnered with Pollinate to conduct the research. Pollinate is a strategic research consultancy and part of The Influence Group.

For further information about ‘Love Song’ and Secret Sounds Connect, visit:


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