The Genre Bending Gen Z Song Topping Charts In The Viral List

“Old Town Road” is Gen Z’s genre-defying hit, K-pop groups are battling it out to break records on YouTube, KFC’s new colonel isn’t human, and other stories shaking up the viral list this week…

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing1. “Old Town Road” Defies Genres

Genre-bending hit “Old Town Road” is climbing both the country and rap charts, and Billboard execs are confused. Rising Gen Z artist Lil Nas X’s unexpected hit was rising through the ranks of Billboard’s country chart when the publication took it down, telling Rolling Stone it was nixed for “not embrac[ing] enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.” The statement spurred an internet war that had the 78% of 13-36-year-olds that told us in our recent music survey that their music taste doesn’t fall into just one category riled. Pitchfork reports that some questioned how much Lil Nas X’s race had a part to play in the re-classification, too. However, Billy Ray Cyrus stepped in and lent the song his vocals and his credibility in a remixed version of the track that broke through to number one on the Hot Country Songs Chart, is played on country radio stations across the country, and has over 33 million YouTube views.

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

2. K-pop Is Taking Over YouTube & Breaking All Its Records

K-pop group Blackpink’s “Kill This Love” is the most popular music video in YouTube's history—but BTS is hot on their heels. Tubefilter reports that Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” record was broken when “Kill This Love” garnered 56.7 million views in just 24 hours. The new video also became the fastest to hit 100 million views and the most popular to ever drop using YouTube Premiere. However, BTS—a group that made Gen Z & Millennials’ list of favorite music artists—is following up their record-breaking hit “Idol” (which currently holds the number three spot…


Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?

The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I think we’re already seeing alcohol lose its health halo. Next, the assumption that alcohol is essential to a good, sophisticated life will fade.”—Joy Manning, Deputy Editor, Edible Communities (Medium)

“The doofus dad” TV stereotype is being remade for role-resisting Millennial parents. Inept at care-taking and almost everything else, the tired stereotype is saying its last “D’Oh!” as The Simpson’s Homer Simpson and Peppa Pig’s Daddy Pig get replaced with a new wave of capable fathers like Bluey’s Bandit. The switch could have a real impact on the way kids understand family life, with one research fellow explaining, “The media reflects reality and also constructs reality.” (SMH)

Apple's new subscription gaming service Arcade will cannibalize its own App Store downloads—and that’s a good thing. Downloads in the App Store are on the decline, despite mobile gaming maintaining popularity and raking in revenue. If Apple can turn Arcade into young gamers’ go-to for mobile play, they’ll be poised for success that could outstrip even Apple TV and Apple Music. (The Motley Fool)

Gen Z music artists are “post-genre.” Mixing several influences into one song has become a way for rising artists to set themselves apart, and thanks to self-upload services like SoundCloud, they don’t need music industry exec’s approval. Meanwhile, the Genreless Generation can curate blended playlists via Spotify to fit moods and occasions rather than “rock” or “pop” and are streaming has also globalized their content consumption, so U.S. genres are no longer a limit. (Vice)

Carl’s Jr. has a CBD-infused burger that costs exactly $4.20. The chain restaurant is giving fast food a Cannabis Infusion, but only at one Denver, Colorado location, and only for one day. The Rocky Mountain High Cheese Burger Delight packs 5 mg of the chemical that won’t get you high. CBD is the trendy ingredient du jour, with 57% of 18-36-year-olds telling us they’re interested in trying it, and the chemical has made its way into everything from lotion to La Croix-like beverages. (LAT)

Axe is challenging masculinity with “bathsculinity.” The brand has been blurring gender lines for the Genreless Generation for years now, and their latest series of YouTube spots is showing that men can take baths, too. They’ve enlisted comedian Lil Rel Howery, who takes bubble baths surrounded by candles in the humorous videos. And they couldn’t be more on-trend: bath time is seeing a surge as a salve for Millennial anxiety. (Marketing Dive)

Quote of the Day: “I think for a cohesive strategy and for really helping to build awareness as well as grow the market size for new things, there's definitely digital and social media. But also, there has to be this in-real-life element.”—Alicia Yoon, Founder, Peach & Lily (YPulse)

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies