What if Spotify was a radio station?

The streaming music space is a crowded one. Each is fighting for the share of ear along with our respective traditional network brands. The ones making noise now: Beats1, Google Play, Pandora, rdio, even mobile device juggernaut Samsung now has Milk and the other big one in these parts is Spotify.

Have you ever asked the question “What if Spotify was a radio station?”

In Germany they did.

In Germany the ratings are called the MA, and along with TNS who run the surveys they conducted some research on “What if Spotify was a radio station” and what affect it would have on radio listening compared to existing radio brands.

The market was Hamburg, a city with a population of around 1.7 million (give or take). The research took in nearly 3000 people aged 15 to 65.

Cutting to the chase, 50% of 15 to 24 year olds in Hamburg would listen to Spotify as a radio station against current radio brands pulling 13%.  

You can also see that as the demos get older, it halves when they reach 25 years old but it is still more than radio.

Click to enlarge:

Does this mean that radio in Hamburg is, well… “Yawn”?

For a bit of perspective on the Hamburg market we asked Simon Mumford of Radico Int’l . His company works across Europe and he knows the market well.  Simon told us that Hamburg is not a crowded radio market and the ones that target the younger end are all mainstreams Top 40’s and CHR/Hot AC competitors.

 “No station is pushing any musical boundaries for Urban, Dance, Cool Beats etc. So, the youth in that market need to source other options to get their music fix.”

Sound familiar?

One thing is for sure, we know that the younger end, whether it is here in Australia or New Zealand, and like those in Hamburg Germany are more than likely attached to their mobile devices and streaming content.

Just last month Spotify celebrated their third year in Australia. While they have never given out the exact number of subs, in a recent SMH story they said: it is adding close to 60,000 new users per week in Australia, another 20,000 in New Zealand, and claims 25 per cent of Australians have tried the platform.”

Spotify Australia’s next leap will be into video. They haven’t set a date yet but in the USA they are offering branded content from Comedy Central and others.

Mark Ramsay wrote a ripper piece that we featured last week on Radio Today called “What’s Exclusive About Your Radio Brand?”.  Mark starts it with If you aren’t the exclusive provider for something meaningful, you’re sunk.

It’s worth a read if you haven’t yet.

So what makes your music brand standout?


Footnote: The full TNS study was to be released at the end of July. We will see if we can track it down to gain a little more insight. In the meantime you can read some more on the research here, if your German is good!



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