Spotify posted strong subscriber numbers to kick off 2015, and at the same time is building its ad-supported business in its free-listening service. The company sponsored a brand impact study by comScore to investigate the streaming consumer experience. The results portray the streaming audience as one that’s accessible and open to marketing and brand initiatives.
The far-flung study surveyed 4,500 respondents across nine evenly weighted countries. Respondents were weighted by age and gender to match the demographics of their countries. The 65-page complete report is available for free download, here. (Here is the direct download link: PDF file.)
Thirty-three music platforms were included in the questioning. So, while Spotify owns the report and is positioned to benefit from presenting it, the results represent behavior of streaming audio users across many audio publishers.
The study is meant to provide actionable data to marketers and advertisers, so much of the report spins our metrics in five brand verticals: Automotive, Hair Care, Retail, Consumer Electronics, and Mobile Phone Service Providers. Of equal interest, especially as broad behavioral information, are results pertaining to how streaming consumers respond to in-stream marketing.
The survey showed that streamers are twice as likely to be strong brand advocates and twice as likely to feel an emotional connection with brands compared with non-streamers. It also showed that streamers are 17% more likely to shop in stores and 43% more likely to shop online.
Spotify and comScore also found interesting data points about listening preferences. For instance, streamers are 43% more likely than non-streamers to listen to music without multitasking on another activity, with 70% of streamers saying that they would turn on a song while doing nothing else. It also highlighted the connection between streaming and mobile devices. Only 44% of non-streamers listen to music on smartphones compared with 88% of Spotify users and 69% of streamers on other services. Tablets and MP3 players had similar proportions. And, most interestingly, people who stream are 9% more likely than non-streamers to listen to the radio every day; just over half of streamers said they turned the dial daily.
Mobile shines out brightly from this report, where streaming consumers are 74% more likely to listen on smartphones.
This study is a mile marker in Spotify’s ongoing build-out of its advertising business. Last month the company announced a geo-targeted local advertising platform in collaboration with Triton Digital — a stake in the ground also occupied by Pandora’s evolved local advertising sales force and audience segmenting. Spotify’s advertising business is under scrutiny at present, as the company re-negotiates expiring music licensing deals with record labels. While Pandora uses statutory music licenses, Spotify is in a different legal category, and must negotiate its licenses. Accordingly, record labels have an interest in a lucrative revenue line associated with streaming audio ad sales … as does Spotify itself. The Spotify/comScore report makes the case to the Buy side.