Secret Sounds Reveal 90% Of Gen Zs Would Rather Have ‘Experiences’ Than A House

4 March 2024 | 1:53 pm | Ellie Robinson

The latest Secret Sounds Connect survey shows most young adults are prioritising their personal enjoyment.

Splendour In The Grass 2018

Splendour In The Grass 2018 (Credit: Charlie Hardy)

Secret Sounds have published the data from a survey of more than 2,500 Gen Z punters around Australia, revealing some rather interesting stats that could show where the live music industry is headed.

Held by the company’s advertising division, Secret Sounds Connect – in tandem with market research company Pollinate – the Love Song project is described as being “Australia’s largest ever quantitative studies of music fans”. Published last Friday (March 1), this year’s survey was the basis for the second report published for the project (the first being done in 2019), collating responses from a little over 2,680 people – all of whom identified as being part of Gen Z (meaning they were born between 1997 and 2012).

As reported by Australian Leisure, 89 percent of respondents vouched that music is “integral to who they are”. 79 percent said they trusted musicians more than almost everyone else – second only to their own friends – and 70 percent said they go to concerts at least once a month. The stats back up data shared by Live Nation last year, showing that ticket sales in Australia and New Zealand were up 79 percent from 2022.

In particularly positive news for the festival market, a jaw-dropping 94 percent of respondents said they cared more about “things that bring them joy” than material possessions. 90 percent said they’d rather spend their money on experiences than tangible items, and 66 percent said they were saving for an experience, but not any longterm assets (like a house or a car).

Ultimately, most of Gen Z is living in the here and now, and only the here and now: 81 percent of respondents said they agreed with the statement, “I try to have as much fun now and let the future look after itself”. It’s up from 74 percent of respondents in the last survey, reflecting a even percent increase in a lack of fucks being given.

Despite livestreams taking off in the COVID-19 era, young adults are fiending for real-world experiences: 87 percent said they were seeking IRL connections now more than ever, and 83 percent said they preferred real-life experiences over digital ones. That ethos is even expanding to how Gen Z interacts with digital platforms – on social media, for example, 78 percent said they’d rather share their life updates in private messages and groups, rather than on their public feeds.

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Individuality is also in vogue. 87 percent of respondents said they’d rather be seen as “authentic” than “cool”, and 62 percent said they’d rather stand out than blend in. Tying into this, 95 percent agreed that a big fashion trend for 2024 will be dressing for comfort (or “dopamine dressing”).

In a statement, Kristy Rosser – founder of Secret Sounds Connect, and Senior Vice President, Marketing Solutions and Client Services at Live Nation ANZ – said the 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”. She added: “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.”

The sentiment was shared by Frances Deighton – Strategy Lead for Partnerships at Live Nation and Secret Sounds Connect – who added: “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.”