Listener Data: Gen Z’s Secret Sauce?

How do you share music with friends?

It’s a simple question, with a fairly common answer: “We send song links”

Whether it’s via text message or social media DM’s, we’ve typically sent song URL’s for the majority of the music streaming era. It’s a bit archaic and one dimensional, but it’s been the best option available.

That is until recently — where we’ve seen Gen Z adopt a different viral trend to express their music taste to friends: social listener data.

So what is social listener data? It’s the unique packaging of your streaming stats (from Spotify, Apple Music, etc) for the purpose of quickly sharing your current music taste with friends.

Spotify started the concept in 2015 when they launched their viral Spotify Wrapped campaign. Every year this dominates social media for several days — as Gen Z are eager to share their “one of one” music taste with the world.


While the Wrapped campaign kickstarted the popularity of social listener data, other smaller scale tools have pushed it from being a once-a-year blip into a consistent viral habit of self expression.

One example is Receiptify, a site built several years ago which converts your listener data into a grocery receipt design. Sounds simple — but the tool still generates over 3m visits per month (according to similarweb) from users who consistently grab their summary to share with friends.


And this isn’t a ‘one off’ thing — countless other examples created as hobby projects by developers have found similar consistent traction. This includes Obscurify, a site which shows a unique breakdown of how obscure your music taste has been lately, and Spotify Pie, a site that uniquely breaks down the artists/genres you prefer. Each continues to attain millions of users per month, and the viral sharing amongst Gen Z has made significant PR waves (USA TodayYahooComplex, etc).

The recurring success of these tools, and their virality on social media, has proven an openness (and even a preference) among Gen Z for storytelling through summaries of their own listener data. And why wouldn’t they — it’s an instant and repeatable solution in a new age of music.

With over 60k new songs added to Spotify every day, Gen Z is exposed to the highest influx of new music in human history. Their music rotation is changing rapidly — and they much prefer these data summaries to manual text messages as their medium for sharing.

At Anthems, we’ve taken these initial tools a step further and launched a successful social music app and web product in order to capitalize on this growing trend of social listener data. The results have been promising to say the least — as our total userbase has roughly doubled every month in 2022 (98% MoM avg growth).

Anthems Music Sharing

While this social listener data trend is fairly new and underreported, the concept of repurposing underutilized assets is not a new one. Whether it be AirBNB with vacant homes or Uber with underused cars — many unicorns have been created by looking at an old problem through a new lens. So what will be the solution which disrupts how we share music with friends? Perhaps the winner will follow these trends and turn our truckloads of unused listener data into social jet fuel…only time will tell.

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Listener Data: Gen Z’s Secret Sauce?

by Jack Diserens time to read: 2 min