Playlist passions to men in make-up – new student perspectives

At last month’s YMS19 LDN, student marketing specialists Seed Marketing took to the Main Stage to share some exciting insights from their brand new report, What Matters To Us Volume 2. Ahead of the report’s launch this week, they’re giving us a sneak peek of their key findings in our latest guest post.

A month has passed since this year’s brilliant YMS. The caffeine hits from the copious amounts of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee have well and truly worn off and the lanyards have made their way to the recycling bins already but for brand marketers everywhere the challenge of keeping up with Gen Z trends and insights continues.

So it’s probably a good thing then that your next invaluable intake of on-point insight is only moments away, courtesy of Seed Marketing, a global student marketing agency working on worldwide strategies and tactical campaigns for brands like ASOS, Tinder, Amazon and Adobe.

If you visited YMS you may well have seen Celia and Joe, founder and MD respectively on the main stage giving a glimpse into What Matters To Us Volume 2.

What Matters To Us is our deep-dive research piece that examines the evolution of youth and student culture in Britain today.  Volume 2 goes deep. It navigates new areas and confronts emerging stereotypes. It’s a rare example of a sequel being better than the original and stands proudly next to masterpieces such as Shrek 2, Terminator 2 and of course, Magic Mike XXL.

At YMS Joe and Celia highlighted a number of insights that brand marketers can take and apply to their youth marketing strategies. For example, we all know how much music plays a daily role in young people’s lives and the presentation showed that playlists are now the most popular way to listen to, discover and share music with 49% of students now using playlists to discover new artists and a massive 75% of them choosing to listen to playlists over albums.

We asked the question, is curation killing curiosity? And how can brands play in the space?

The talk suggested that it’s not killing curiosity, but it’s definitely diverting it. Albums are becoming a thing of the past and playlists are fast becoming the key and trusted source of discovery. Music is a soundtrack to their lives, a tool for study, a beat to walk to. Students want to be suggested music because they want something for every mood and every moment.

But for brands simply creating playlists probably won’t cut it here. Only a lukewarm 30% of our students said they were interested in this – even from their favourite brands. Students are looking for connection with the culture around the playlists they’re passionate about. A wonderful example of this is from Spotify themselves with their ‘Who We Be’ events – leveraging the equity of one of their biggest playlists and selling out Ally Pally two years running!

The official launch of What Matters To Us Volume 2 is on Wednesday 15th May 2019 with the digital version being available directly from our website on that date.

Here’s a look at some of the other key topics you can expect to learn about by getting in touch and getting the full report download.

  1. Budgeting to blowout – Are they Cautious or Carefree?

When asked what student would do with a bonus £50 in their pocket, 48% said they would put it toward saving for something bigger like a trip

  1. The New Painted Faces – More Men in Make-Up

62% think it’s OK for men to wear any skin care, makeup or clothing they want, any time they want

  1. The Esport explosion – Is Gaming Hysteria worth the Hype?

22% of male university students in the UK watch esport for fun


For Seed, it’s always been about knowing students. And we mean actually knowing students. Our Graduate and placement schemes ensure our office is always full of them and we have over 8000 students within our wider network that we can call on for quickfire insight at any given time.

Understanding your audience is vital to any marketing brief and if you haven’t got the time to ask thousands of young people what they use LinkedIn for or what they think about men wearing make-up then make sure you get in touch and get hold of the research document.

Seed Marketing launches What Matters To Us Volume 2 on Wednesday 15th May 2019.

The full digital version is available here from that date.

Thanks for reading

Team Seed x

Click here to check out our highlights from YMS19 LDN, and if you’re already getting excited for next year’s YMS20, now’s the time to secure your passes at an unmissable price.