When Do We Stop Finding New Music? A Statistical Analysis

Daniel Parris:

Ultimately, cultural preferences are subject to generational relativism, heavily rooted in the media of our adolescence. It’s strange how much your 13-year-old self defines your lifelong artistic tastes. At this age, we’re unable to drive, vote, drink alcohol, or pay taxes, yet we’re old enough to cultivate enduring musical preferences. 

The pervasive nature of music paralysis across generations suggests that the phenomenon’s roots go beyond technology, likely stemming from developmental factors. So what changes as we age, and when does open-eardness decline?

Survey research from European streaming service Deezer indicates that music discovery peaks at 24, with survey respondents reporting increased variety in their music rotation during this time. However, after this age, our ability to keep up with music trends typically declines, with respondents reporting significantly lower levels of discovery in their early thirties. Ultimately, the Deezer study pinpoints 31 as the age when musical tastes start to stagnate.