Study of Indonesian consumers reveals reluctance to pay for music; acceptance of advertising

tuned global indonesia chart pay for music 638w

A new consumer survey called Indonesian Streaming Music Consumption 2016, commissioned by Australian company Tuned Global, shines light into the music-listening habits and preferences of Indonesian consumers. Tuned Global, which helps major brands connect with consumers via mobile music solutions, gave an early release of the study to RAIN News.

Over 500 consumers were queried for this research, evenly split by gender, mostly Millennial. They were asked for their preferences in mobile streaming apps, their priorities in choosing apps, questions about their time spent streaming, and how they spend money on music. Over a third of respondents report streaming 1-2 hours per week via their phones, and one-quarter listen to three times that much.

YouTube reigns in Indonesian mobile listening — that is the first clear result. The free video-streaming platform is used “the most” by 58% of respondents. Second is an app called Joox, followed closely by Soundcloud. Twenty-six other choices form a very long tail of 10% or less. Brands familiar to the U.S. audience (e.g. TuneIn, Spotify, 8tracks) are in there.

Why is YouTube so popular? The first reason is that it’s free, given as the main reason by 57% of consumers. Other top reasons for choosing one app over another in Indonesia include content selection, sound quality, and ubiquity across device types.

Free listening is clearly a priority in this study’s cohort, as demonstrated when the questioning swung around to how much the respondents would be willing to pay for music. Over one-quarter expressed unwillingness to pay anything for music — “Music has no value for me” is how the research report phrases it. Another 48% said they might fork over 49,000 Indonesian Rupiah per month (that is $3.69 USD). Ten percent would pay $6 or more per month.

Given that reluctance to dish out payment for music, you might guess that this population has high acceptance for ad-supported music streaming, and that is the case for 62% of respondents. A slightly higher percentage (69%) would not pay to ditch the ads. Likewise, in the U.S., Pandora has found a high reluctance among its 80-million monthly users to pay $5/month for the ad-free plan, which has about 4-million subscribers.

The report concludes that in Indonesia, consumer hunger for free streaming provides a lesson for service owners: “Streaming services which base their model on subscriptions in that market need to innovate and offer more value to their users.”

Brad Hill