New Music Discovery Peaks at Age 33, Then Declines

If you wondered why Missy Elliot performed at this year's Super Bowl halftime show, it may be because the NFL knew something about the musical tastes of its fan base, average age 44.

If you wondered why Missy Elliot performed at this year's Super Bowl halftime show, it may be because the NFL knew something about the musical tastes of its fan base, average age 44. Balancing the new pop of Katy Perry with a star of the 1990s fits well with new data gathered from the listening habits of those who use music-streaming services.

Music-intelligence company The Echo Nest analyzed Spotify data to determine that at the age of 33, most people peak in the amount of new music they actively seek out and discover. The reason, says the company, is twofold: (1) Thanks to alternative sources for less familiar artists, teenage listeners begin breaking away from popular tunes broadcast on FM radio stations; (2) by early adulthood, most people return to the familiar music of their coming-of-age years.

In other words, most people can expect their musical tastes not to change past the age of 33.

The study also had some interesting things to say about parents. At first, their musical tastes crashed hardest, measured by a quick transition to children's stations, lullaby channels, etc. But as their children aged, family streaming accounts began logging more new music.

It's impossible to tell whether the parents of teenagers liked their children's budding taste in music outside the mainstream, but it does give hope to music aficionados who also see children in their future. An interesting area for further study would be to see if and how people's taste in genre changed over their lifetime: Will grandmas and grandpas of the future still be listening to house music?

When Mary Chapin Carpenter stopped by Big Think, she discussed the difficulty of genre for music makers, and what makes certain artists popular or not depending on what genre their music is classified into. Taylor Swift, for example, began in country music but it was her transition to pop that made her a superstar.

Read more at The Take Away.

Photo credit: Shutterstock 

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

The dos and don’ts of helping a drug-addicted person recover

How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.

  • Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
  • Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
  • As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less