Well, that’s according to a voluntary survey, anyway. I turn 53 next month and I’m still dancing until all hours at clubs, though I couldn’t name you a single hit song of the past ten years.
Deezer, a music streaming service, said (in 2018) that on average people hit the wall around 30. I was still into new music and listened to everything until I moved abroad at age 34 (2001) and got “set in my ways” around 37-38. I was physically isolated from new Canadian or foreign music for years. After I started clubbing again, I thought, “This ‘music’ sucks!” but I still dance anyway.
I live for 1980s parties.
There’s a reason your grandparents still listen to Elvis, your mom still loves Bon Jovi, and you still have a strange affiliation with the crap bands you liked when you were 14.
A recent survey by the music streaming service Deezer asked 1,000 people in the UK about their musical preferences and their streaming habits. According to their findings, people tend to experience a “musical paralysis” at around the age of 30.5, whereby they stop listening to new artists or genres and tend to stick to what they know.
Musical discovery peaks at an average age of 24 years and five months, although women generally hit this peak around a year earlier. At this age, almost 75 percent of respondents said they checked out 10 or more new tracks per week, and 64 percent said they listened to five or more new artists every month. Around 60 percent of people feel like they are in a music rut and struggle to break out of playing the same old artists over and over again.
There is possibly another factor at play. During our younger years, especially as teenagers, we are the most influenced by the music around us. In The New York Times, data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz wrote about how the songs that were popular in our teenage years, particularly between the ages of 11 to 14, tends to remain our most streamed songs on Spotify.
One funny thing: I’ve heard it said that the number 1 song on your 14th birthday defines your life. I thought it was a load of codswallop until I found out what mine was. It turns out to be true for most people I know.
“The Tide Is High” was #1 in Canada, the middle of February, 1981: