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Discovery: Music Streaming

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Subscription services were once an occasional investment for specialized products, but today, they’ve turned into a routine offering across a variety of industries. From premium shows to groceries, people can find a subscription service for just about anything. As people step away from conventional purchasing methods, it’s helpful to understand their preferences, habits, and sentiments related to the evolving subscription-based landscape.

Today, we’re looking at the results of DISQO’s most recent Music Streaming Survey, which covers the following topics:

  • Usage & satisfaction with music streaming services
  • Preferences for an ad-free experience
  • Music consumption
  • Preferred music genres
  • Streaming Services

It comes as no surprise that a majority of people (62%) use some kind of music streaming service. Of those who use a streaming service, 38% have upgraded to a subscription that provides an ad-free experience. It’s clear that consumers value their listening experience, and many even pay extra to enjoy content without third party interruptions. That said, a majority of consumers aren’t upgrading their accounts, so what is their reasoning? How can streaming services improve the experience for listeners, whether they subscribe or not?

General Streaming Satisfaction

As streaming services vie for ways to increase their subscriber base, they have three avenues: draw in people who have never used a streaming service, upgrade their existing non-paying customers, or draw paying customers away from a competitor. To this end, it’s important to first assess customer volatility by understanding overall customer satisfaction.

In this respect, almost everyone (96%) said they are satisfied with their streaming service, which indicates that it may be easier to upgrade existing clients than to steal them from competitor services. Nevertheless, providers must stay vigilant and continually improve their offering to prevent the competition from kicking them out. After all, the recent attention Spotify’s Wrapped feature generated is a reminder that while people may be happy one day, their expectations may irrevocably become higher the next.

Streaming Satisfaction & Music Preferences

Beyond satisfaction, we also sought to understand when people are likely to tune in to their streaming services, as well as which type of content they are listening to. Most notably, 78% of people confided that they listen to music streaming services on their daily commute. What they listen to, of course, varies quite a bit.

According to DISQO Audience members, the top genre is pop (57%), which is closely followed by rock (55%). Other popular music genres include country (41%), hip hop (37%), classical (18%), and jazz (15%).


What are the implications of this study and how can brands leverage these insights to their benefit? In short, people are relatively happy with their streaming services, but the majority have yet to upgrade to a premium service. If streaming services are to convert these individuals, they must offer something more than an ad free experience. Paying close attention to what people are looking for when it comes to music streaming — whether it’s niche content or layered experiences beyond the music alone — can help these providers curate a more enjoyable, premium experience.

About the Study

The 2019 Music Streaming Survey reached 16,872 members of the DISQO Audience and uncovered popularity and satisfaction regarding music streaming services. The survey also revealed preferences for an ad-free streaming experience, music consumption frequency, and preferred music genres.

Join the Conversation.

Do you have a music streaming subscription? How often do you listen to music during the week? Join the conversation on LinkedIn or Facebook.

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