YouTube rules streaming audio: study

However, over a third of Anglophones use streaming services other than YouTube for music and podcasts.

YouTube continues to be the go-to choice for music streaming amidst Anglophones in Canada.

According to a new study by Media Technology Monitor (MTM), which surveyed over 6,000 Anglophone Canadians last fall and this spring, YouTube is the most popular platform for streaming music – with a slight increase in listenership amidst the polled respondents, up to 93% using it in the past month from 85% over the past year.

Apart from YouTube, 35% of respondents are opting to use music streaming services (MSS) such as Spotify, Google Play Music and Apple Music over the past month, with two in five having a paid subscription to it. Almost half of MSS listeners also rely on at least two services.

The study suggested that the popularity of MSSs has continued to grow, up to 38% of listeners this spring from 10% in fall 2012, indicating a consistent penetration into the Canadian audio market. The growth potential is especially seen through Spotify, which has seen usage quadruple since 2014. During the same period, usage of Google Play Music and SoundCloud declined, while Apple Music fluctuated slightly.

The study revealed that like other types of online audio, most MSS users are the Gen Z and student segments, which both over-index on listening rates. This increase in use of MSSs has been attributed to the convenience of a smartphone, where eight out of 10 users do their listening.

On average, an MSS listener spends over nine hours per week listening to streaming music, but students and millennials do so for 12 to 13 hours per week. Household income can also be a factor that affects MSS usage, where those above $75K have over-indexed.

The study indicated that MSS listeners have a strong interest in other types of online audio, such as podcasts.