Playlists- Important to Spotify and Apple Music
Creating and/or listening to playlists play a major role in the listening habits of Spotify and Apple Music users, says a recent overseas report. But such playlists are not a replacement for, but more complement to, the role of traditional radio in providing familiar hits and new songs.
Up to 90% of the 500 surveyed by music industry consumer research company MusicWatch said they created playlists or listened to them. Eight in ten of paid or “premium” subscribers (Spotify has 39 million of them, Apple Music 15 million) listened to their service every day, half of whom listened to a playlist each time they went online to stream music.
Nine out of 10 subscribers created at least one playlist in the last three months, while four out of 10 create fresh playlists each week. Most compile them for family and friends, but 45% share their playlists. 85% are drawn to a playlist because of the songs, not the person who created them. Only half listen to the songs in the order they are playlisted, preferring to personalise them.
“Playlisting has become the fabric of the music streaming experience,” said Russ Crupnick, Managing Partner of MusicWatch. “The ability to listen to and create playlists has become as important a feature as the catalogue of music itself.”
The most popular playlists were genre-based (68%) with Top 40 and chart based playlists (Top 50, Best of the Year) tying with mood-based lists, attracting 50% of users each. According to the report, two-thirds listen to current hit playlists, while 44% use it for discovery, through Spotify’s Discovery Weekly (used by 15% of respondents) and Apple Music’s Discovery Mix (21%).
Up to 80% of streamers also listen to music on AM and FM radio. This figure confirms the finding of other reports that radio is regarded as an important source for music fans to hear new music.
Crupnick added, “We set out to understand what’s really important to listeners, and it’s the essence of the song and the artist that wins, in the end. There’s debate about human versus machine curation, about celebrity personalization, and about music sharing on social platforms, but ultimately listeners are really most concerned about whether a playlist provides song that they like and offers a touch of music discovery, too.”
In Australia, a Roy Morgan research from last month (as reported in TMN) found that 19.7% of the population have adopted music streaming services as Spotify or Apple Music, and 9.6% are using streaming radio services like Pandora.
Streaming has become so popular in this country that in the period between April 2015 to March 2016, only 4.6% paid to download tracks compared to 6.1% in the 12 months to March 2012, and 1.1% buy CDs online compared to 2.1% from a few years before.