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STREAMING REACHES CRITICAL MASS

With results that will be a surprise to very few following trends in the music business, a recent study of music consumers found a formidable up-tick in adoption of music streaming services among all music fans, with particularly strong love from young people.

Data company Fluent released their online survey of 1,900 people who shared info about their online listening. The research shows that 92% of Gen Z (18-24) and 91% of Millennials (25-34) have engaged with streaming services, and 77% of respondents older than 35 have also discovered the joys of having an unlimited music library for a flat fee.

Interestingly, Seven in 10 Americans using an audio streaming platform employ the free version—a statistic that will certainly bolster Spotify’s assertion that the free tier is essential for conversion to subscription. YouTube and Pandora are the most popular music sources, followed by iHeartRadio, Google Play Music and Amazon. The study points out that Amazon Prime Music and Apple Music “are at the bottom of the pile because neither has a free option.”

However, among the core demo of 18-34, Spotify and Apple Music are the most popular services.  The study also makes the observation that high Apple Music subscription rates among Gen Z consumers can be explained by the fact that this audience “is much more likely” to own an iPhone.

The number one reason for paying for music though, isn’t for the unlimited library. 40% of those surveyed who currently subscribe to a service said that not listening to advertising was the main reason.

Other benefits like artists available, personalization, and discovery ranked far below that. And out of the group that currently doesn’t pay, “too expensive” was the overwhelming reason (39%) for not subscribing, followed by the illuminating “I don’t know” (30%), a response reminiscent of Steve Jobs' infamous point about product that, the audience doesn’t know what they want until you give it to them.

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