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The State of Streaming Music, Most Music Lovers are Embracing Online Services

The State of Streaming Music, Most Music Lovers are Embracing Online Services

On October 30th, our chief monkey Dave Goldberg went to Bloomberg West for his monthly SurveyMonkey Shakedown segment, and chatted with Nicole Lapin about how consumers are utilizing streaming music services. This month’s survey focused on what method people are using to listen to music, if they had a streaming music service of choice, and what they think about the payments plans and advertisements used by services such as Pandora and Spotify. Using SurveyMonkey Audience, we surveyed more than 700 Americans to get their opinions on the matter. Check out the segment and survey findings below:


Music lovers are embracing digital! Two thirds (64%) of the population listen to at least one streaming music service

  • Age makes a difference! Only 3% of those aged 18-29 don’t listen to any streaming services, while 42% of those aged 30+ don’t listen to any streaming services

However, more than a third (35%) of respondents still listen to most of their music on FM radio

  • A significant drop, the next most popular way to listen to music is through digitally purchased/downloaded music (19%) followed by streaming services (16%)
  • However, those aged 18-29 are listening most to digital music they’ve purchased/downloaded (36%)

Those who use a streaming service are loyal, and prefer Pandora.

  • Nearly 30% rely on one streaming music service while 23% use two services and the remaining 11% use three or more streaming music services
  • The most widely used streaming music service is Pandora (46%) followed by YouTube (20%)
  • If respondents had their way (33%), they’d like to see Google get into the streaming music service business

Everyone loves free music.

  • 88% of respondents who use streaming music services do not pay for it
  • And more than half (52%) would not be willing to pay for monthly access to a streaming service
  • However, nearly 37% indicated they’d be willing to shell out five bucks or less for access to a monthly service and the big spenders – more than 11% – indicated their willingness to pay more than $6 a month
  • Respondents find ads on streaming music services bothersome but not enough to pay for their removal. Fifty-one percent prefer the ads over having to pay for a subscription

Most people access their music streaming service while on-the-go or at work.

  • 28% use their smartphones most often to listen to music through their streaming music services
  • Music makes the day go by faster? Or at least drown out obnoxious co-workers? Fifty percent use their desktop or laptop computers to access streaming music

With social media serving as our personal megaphone, oversharing has become the norm but we’re not doing so with our music choices 

  • 86% do not share the songs they’re listening to on a streaming service via social media
  • People sharing their music publicly primarily do so through Facebook (84%), and do so manually rather than opt in to an automatic update from their preferred streaming provider
  • But perhaps the lack of digital sharing doesn’t matter– nearly a third of respondents (32%) indicated they use word of mouth most often to find out what music their friends are listening to

To see the full set of survey results, click here.

What’s your favorite streaming music site? Do you share your playlists with friends? Let us know in the comments section below.

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