What does Gen Z want? Not a marriage and a mortgage


Live Nation Entertainment released the results of its ‘Love Song’ research this week. Only 1 in 8 Gen Zers are interested in walking down the aisle, the study reveals. 90% prioritise experience over possessions.
Splendour in the Grass festival 2023. Gen Z is all about self-expression, rizz, and living in the moment according to the Love Nation study by Live Nation. Image credit: Live Nation

Authenticity is in, and wanting to be cool is out.

That’s according to Live Nation’s latest study ‘Love Song,’ which surveyed 2,680 Gen Zers in Australia. The research was undertaken by Secret Sounds Connect, an experiential and creative agency and a division of Live Nation Entertainment.

Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z teenagers and 20-somethings are living life their way, and the weirder the better.

Of those surveyed 58% said the more absurd something is, the cooler it becomes. 82% say that ‘being weird’ is in.  Also on the decline, according to Gen Z, is living digitally not experientially.

Some 87% of respondents said they seek out real-world connections now more than ever before, and 83% want to experience real life more than digital life.

Kristy Rosser is Live Nation’s senior Vice President of ANZ Marketing Solutions & Client Services.

“The world’s largest generation 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,” says Rosser.

“87% of respondents said they seek out real-world connections now more than ever before, and 83% want to experience real life more than digital life.”

Live Nation’s ‘Love Song’ study

Just 33% of respondents said they were focused on buying a house. Even less said they were prioritising being successful in their career, buying a house, or getting married.

What Gen Z does value, is music. 89% say music is ‘integral to who they are.’ 79% list music artists as those they trust most after friends. 7 out of 10 attend live music events at least once a month. And more than a quarter are listening to country music.

Two thirds of Gen Z are saving for an experience of travel over putting that money toward a car or a house. And the vast majority – 9 out of 10 respondents – say they prefer to spend money on experiences over possessions.

And when it comes to chronicling those experiences, and those of everyday life, Gen Z wants to share privately (78%) rather than in public posts. Tiktok is the preferred platform, beating out Instagram. And the majority of those surveyed prefer imperfect content over polished.

New research from Live Nation Entertainment says that 89% of Gen Zers in Australia say music is integral to who they are. Source: Live Nation Entertainment

Fashion is key to expressing individualism among Gen Z. 62% want to stand out rather than blend in, aiming to achieve ‘dopamine dressing‘ – instilling joy through what we wear. 95% of12 – 27 year old Aussies want to dopamine dress.

Another term cited in the research, is ‘rizz.’ It is Oxford Dictionary’s word of 2023, defined as ‘style, charm, or attractiveness’ and is a big deal to the generation wedged between millennials (age 28 – 43) and alphas (currently aged up to 11 years old.)

So why is Live Nation Entertainment going to such great lengths to understand Gen Z?

“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,” says Frances Deighton, Strategy Lead for Partnerships at Live Nation and Secret Sounds Connect.

“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.”

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