Spotify gaining in the battle for listeners: study

According to the MTM's newest report, the streamer is making big gains, and almost half of users opt for the ad free option.
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The latest data from the Media Technology Monitor (MTM) shows that although YouTube remains the most popular way for people to listen to music online, Spotify is making gains — and it’s doing so quickly.

The MTM surveyed 4,000 Anglophone Canadians in a mixed-method (online and phone) questionnaire to determine what form of music streaming they prefer. The study took place in the spring of 2017.

More than one-third of Canadians surveyed (32%) use music streaming services (although the MTM counts YouTube, which serves the primary purpose of a video streamer, as a music service). That number has shown consistent growth over the years, rising up from 27% in the last 12 months.

The ad-supported YouTube may be the most ubiquitous of all the services — 85% of those surveyed who use streaming services have used YouTube in the past month, which puts it at more than double its next-highest competitor, Spotify (42%). YouTube’s penetration as a music source has stayed flat over the last year, whereas Spotify has made major gains from 12 months ago, when it was used by 29% of music streamers. It’s gained even more than Apple Music (currently at 22% and up from 18% in the last year), which is a newer service.

Spotify and Apple Music boast very similar offerings, with nearly identical libraries and features. However, the main difference between Spotify and Apple Music lies in their so-called freemium system. While Apple Music offers a three-month free trial, Spotify offers a permanently free ad supported tier with more limited controls, as well as a monthly paid option. Spotify does not disclose how many subscribers (paid or unpaid) it has specific to Canada, however, the MTM’s study found that 47% of the Spotify listeners it surveyed paid for music services.

Google Play has also stayed stable from year-to-year at 23%. SoundCloud has decreased to 16% from 20%.

Photo by Ilya Ilyukhin, courtesy of Unsplash