Music streaming market research has become a crucial tool in the constantly transforming music industry. The analysis of the music streaming market aims to delve into various aspects of the industry, including its market segmentation, revenue streams, opportunities, challenges, and case studies. 

By examining these areas, stakeholders can gain invaluable insights into the present state of the music streaming market and its future potential. This will enable them to make informed decisions and take advantage of emerging opportunities.

Overview of the music streaming industry and music streaming market research

The music streaming industry has undergone a striking expansion, leading to a significant change in the way people consume and engage with music. Through streaming platforms, music has become more accessible and widely distributed, enabling users to access countless songs across multiple devices instantaneously. 

Thus, music streaming market research provides a deep understanding of the constantly evolving industry. By analyzing various elements of the market such as user engagement, platform efficiency, and revenue generation; music streaming market research offers valuable insights into the present state of the industry and its future potential. 

Particularly, it involves several critical areas of study that include:

  • Researching the major players in the music streaming market such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music; as well as regional and niche platforms helps identify trends and opportunities for growth.

  • Understanding the demographic profile and preferences of music streaming users, including age groups, geographic distribution, and genre preferences.

  • Evaluating the various business models employed by streaming platforms, including freemium, subscription-based, and ad-supported models, provides insights into the most effective and sustainable strategies for monetization.

  • Identifying emerging markets, potential partnerships, and technological advancements to guide stakeholders in making strategic decisions and investments.

Importance of music streaming market research

Conducting thorough music streaming market research is significant as it offers a valuable understanding of the constantly shifting field of music. Some key reasons to conduct music streaming market research include:

  • Music streaming market research can provide insights into listening habits, and genre preferences, enabling stakeholders to better target and engage their audience.

  • Market research can provide insights into the strategies, strengths, and weaknesses of different platforms, helping stakeholders identify opportunities for differentiation and growth.

  • The music streaming industry is continuously shaped by technological advancements such as artificial intelligence, personalized recommendations, and smart device integrations. Music streaming market research can help stakeholders stay informed about the latest innovations and their potential impact on the industry.

  • Music streaming market research can shed light on the complex regulatory and legal landscape surrounding the industry, including copyright and licensing issues, royalty payments, and data privacy concerns. This knowledge is crucial for stakeholders to navigate these challenges and ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

  • As music streaming platforms continue to expand into new markets, understanding regional preferences, cultural nuances, and local competition becomes essential. Music streaming market research can provide insights into these factors, guiding stakeholders in their global expansion efforts.

Many industries have become tied to emerging technologies

With market research, analyzing consumer trends can often mean looking at the technology driving the trend. The music industry has changed more in the last 5 years than it ever has and technology is a big reason why. Streaming has become the preferred method of music consumption for many people regardless of their age. The ease, cost-effectiveness, and immediacy of streaming music have made streaming services highly valued and highly profitable.

Buyer Behavior

People do still listen to music from their personal collections and CDs, vinyls, and other physical media sources are still sought after by collectors. They are also popular merchandise at live shows. Live music has always been a stable source of entertainment.

Building Awareness

With artists having more platforms on which to publish their music and gain exposure (such as Soundcloud and Bandcamp), there are more ways than ever for people who enjoy live entertainment to find acts to follow. Streaming, however, is still the preferred medium for music consumption and for finding new artists.

Music Streaming

Spotify and Pandora are perfect examples of platforms that use technology to not only make music more accessible to fans but also introduce new music to people who may not have had the opportunity or interest in seeking it out before.

These companies, as well as Google with their Google Play music platform, Apple with iTunes, and the myriad of other streaming services, collect data on users’ listening trends which can be used both for marketing purposes and to make inferences on industry trends.

Consumer Insights

One pitfall to the data being collected by many music streaming services is that very little of it is qualitative. Services collect information such as search history, how many times a song is played, and whether people prefer to listen to an artist on shuffle or a radio station based on an artist, but very little of that information answers any of the “why” questions that come up so often in music and all art.

Measuring Performance

If two artists have uplifting, danceable songs, why would one person choose either one over the other? These can be addressed using qualitative surveys, however, the methodology must be chosen carefully and the end goal of the research must be planned carefully before performing such an endeavor.

Big Data

Companies such as Spotify are working harder on using the data they collect to answer deeper questions about people’s relationships to their music. Recent articles have suggested that Spotify can tell people’s moods by looking at the type of music they listen to and they context in which they listen to it (location, device, etc). Other companies such as Facebook have tried to market based on information on people’s moods, as well.

The analysis of all that data is a phenomenally complex task, but the results can garner anything from an individual’s preferences based on their mood (and vice-versa) to what acts are having the most success and, potentially, how new acts can follow suit.

Conjoint Analysis

Conjoint analysis is one quantitative method that can help determine the choice practices of consumers for something like music, but it is used across multiple industries for its versatility and power. Conjoint analysis is designed to mimic the buying process by showing respondents a series of products each with multiple attributes.

Respondents are to make decisions on their preferred product which, after several selections, would show which attribute is the most influential. Several steps must be taken to make the data as valuable as possible. The attributes chosen must be attributes that actually affect consumer decisions. 

While the key and meter are attributes of songs, they are generally not deciding factors in why a person selects a song. In the same way, engine size and horsepower are attributes for cars that could be influential for some consumers, but may not be influential for a certain type of consumer.

Music streaming market research opportunities

The music streaming industry is an exciting and rapidly growing sector that offers numerous opportunities for stakeholders to capitalize on. Music streaming market research plays a crucial role in identifying these opportunities and helping businesses make strategic decisions. Some of the key opportunities of music streaming market research include:

  • Emerging markets: The proliferation of internet access and widespread adoption of smartphones across the globe has opened up immense opportunities for music streaming platforms to broaden their reach in emerging markets. Through targeted market research, organizations can pinpoint regions with promising growth potential and devise tailored strategies to cater to the unique preferences and tastes of these new audiences.

  • Personalization and AI: AI technologies have revolutionized the music streaming industry, providing more opportunities for platforms to enhance user experiences through personalized recommendations, curated playlists, voice reproduction, and more. As a result, music streaming platforms can offer tailored music experiences to users, catering to their unique tastes and preferences.

  • Partnerships and collaborations: By collaborating with artists, record labels, and event organizers, these platforms can secure exclusive content, promotional deals, and live event streaming opportunities, ultimately enhancing their user engagement and revenue.

  • Original content and exclusives: Creating unique content such as podcasts, documentaries, and exclusive releases, is a powerful way for music streaming platforms to stand out from the competition and entice new users. By conducting music streaming market research, platforms can gain valuable insights into their target audience’s interests to develop engaging content that resonates with users and drives platform growth.

  • Diversified revenue streams: To minimize the potential hazards of market volatility, music streaming platforms can explore various alternative revenue streams. These include merchandising, ticket sales, and data analytics services. Conducting music streaming market research can assist in identifying potential up-and-coming revenue streams and guiding monetization strategies.

  • Improved user experience: In the fiercely competitive music streaming industry, it is critical to constantly enhance the user experience to retain and attract subscribers. By conducting music streaming market research, businesses can gain valuable insights into potential areas for improvement such as app design, content discovery, and social features.

Challenges to music streaming market research

While the music streaming industry offers numerous opportunities for growth and innovation, it is not without its challenges and barriers. Some of the key challenges in music streaming market research include:

  • Royalty payments and artist compensation: The music streaming industry confronts a notable hurdle in terms of ensuring fair compensation for artists through royalty payments. Given the intricacy of licensing agreements and royalty structures, stakeholders can benefit from leveraging music streaming market research to gain a comprehensive understanding of the situation. 
  • Piracy and copyright infringement: Despite the expanding legal streaming platforms, the music industry continues to experience a recurrent issue with piracy. To gain a better understanding of the scope of this problem and its impact on streaming revenues, music streaming market research can provide valuable insights. By utilizing this information, stakeholders can formulate effective strategies to combat copyright infringement and promote the lawful consumption of music.

  • Competition and market saturation: To gain an edge and promote growth, conducting thorough music streaming market research is crucial for businesses. This valuable tool provides stakeholders with insights into the competitive landscape, enabling them to identify potential avenues for differentiation and expansion.

  • Data privacy and security concerns: As users entrust music streaming platforms with their personal information and listening habits, data privacy and security become paramount concerns. Music streaming market research can help stakeholders understand user expectations and regulatory requirements related to data protection, guiding the development of robust privacy and security policies.

  • Evolving user preferences: As music trends and user preferences evolve, staying attuned to these changes becomes essential for streaming platforms. Music streaming market research can help identify shifting trends and preferences, enabling stakeholders to adapt their content and marketing strategies accordingly.

SIS International offers Quantitative, Qualitative, and Strategy Research. We provide data, tools, strategies, reports and insights for decision-making. We conduct interviews, surveys, focus groups and many other Market Research methods and approaches. Contact us for your next Market Research project.