There are so many companies taking the plunge into music streaming services or revamping their brand and platform to compete in the space. Consumers have the choice from a number of services – free and paid, such as Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, Beats Music, Google Play Music, and many more. Apple is even jumping into the music streaming space, currently reworking iTunes from paid music downloads to paid music streaming.
In January 2015, Spotify reported having 15 million paid subscribers. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal stated that “Spotify AB has headed back to the funding well for a seventh time, nearing a deal to raise $400 million in a round valuing the music-streaming service at $8.4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.” The company valuation is twice as much as Pandora. (Note: Neither Spotify or Pandora initiated, participated in, or have endorsed this research study. The data included here is part of CivicScience’s InsightStore™ platform and is available to all its subscribers.)
And let’s face it, investors care about revenue and right now Spotify users are more willing to pay for music streaming subscriptions than Pandora users. So how can Pandora increase their paid subscriptions? In our latest report, we profiled the Pandora listener and compared them to the Spotify listener, found who Pandora may have more success in targeting, and identified brands each listener favors more than the average – information that streaming services may not have easy access to. By asking “How often do you listen to music on Pandora Internet Radio?” and “How often do you listen to music on Spotify?” we built rich profiles that focus on active users – those who responded that they use one of the streaming platforms “Every day,” “A few times a week,” and “A few times a month.” After grouping the respondents into the active users of Spotify and Pandora, they were cross-tabulated against hundreds of other questions in the InsightStore™, allowing us to gain insight into each user’s demographics, entertainment habits, lifestyle, and social media usage.
Here are some highlights from the full report:
Spotify users are more likely to be younger (the majority are 29 and under), single individuals who live in urban areas, and probably largely due to their age and limited income they seem to be more price sensitive. Although, just because Spotify users are price sensitive doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to pay for a streaming subscription – 31% of Spotify users would in the market for a paid streaming service. Active listeners are also more likely to be on social media sites and they say their friends on social media have some influence over the music they listen to. Spotify listeners are also more likely to keep up with the latest music trends and events.
Pandora users are older than Spotify users (however, they are still younger than the average general population), they are more likely to be married, have children or grandchildren and are slightly more likely to have higher incomes. Both groups are more likely to be on social media sites than average, but Pandora users are regularly on social sites less than Spotify users. Only 17% of Pandora’s active listeners would be willing to pay for a music streaming subscription. 48% of active Spotify users are also active users of Pandora.
What does this all mean?
Although Pandora listeners are less inclined to pay for music streaming subscriptions, more Spotify users (those more willing to pay for a subscription) say they also listen to Pandora. If Pandora can attract the younger, trend-following, Spotify user, they can potentially grow their music streaming subscription service – Pandora One. By using insights such as these, music streaming services can see who their active users are and what brands they favor, which could help them convert more users to paid subscriptions and also to serve more relevant ads.