Nielsen has released a Music 360 report focused on the Canadian market. The report found that time spent listening to music in Canada has risen 20% since 2013. Nielsen also found that streaming volume has increased 94% since it began tracking that metric for Canada in July 2014. Technology outside of streaming platforms also made an impact on Canadians’ listening habits: at least half of all smartphone and computer owners use digital music platforms on their devices.
The Canadian Press picked up on another interesting data point from that research: an assessment of how much the respondents would be willing to pay for streaming services. The average answer was $6.20 a month, or up to $7.80 for high quality audio. That figure falls in the middle of the price tags for most Canadian music services, where the choices are most commonly a free tier or a $9.99 subscription. The reporter noted that the newly launched Rdio Select subscription, priced at $3.99, could be a promising way to attract those listeners who are willing to pay for music, but balk at the usual $9.99 rate.
Pricing a streaming service has proven to be one of the more challenging barriers to success in the field. Another study by Atenga recently examined the same questions of willingness to pay among a group of U.S. listeners. It found demand peaking at $10 a month, but noted that revenue would max out at either $15 or $20 a month. It seems that no one service has yet hit on the perfect balance between cost and demand, especially when also factoring in royalty payments and the reactions of artists or labels.