STUDY: Spotify freemium has 8.8% reach in Germany; survey compares to radio listening

A new survey from European research reveals that Spotify’s freemium plan (the ad-supported semi-interactive service called Spotify Free) enjoys an 8.8% reach in Germany. The study was commissioned by Spotify, specifically to bolster its advertising business in Germany. Usage of Spotify’s subscription product, which offers greater interactivity and eliminated commercials, was not surveyed.

The headline result is that Spotify’s radio-like service garners an 8.8% share of listening across Germany. The study was conducted in May and June, and queried 2,864 consumers, according to the German publication

TNS Spotify Germany

Spotify’s “freemium” reach across Germany. The 8.8% figure is nearly doubled in Hamburg and Bremen.

The 8.8%-share metric makes Spotify the largest digital music service in Germany, surpassing Deezer (2.9% reach) among survey respondents.

Interestingly, the study compares Spotify metrics with traditional radio, about which the survey subjects were also queried. The high-usage dayparts skew differently: While radio enjoys morning-drive popularity, Spotify’s prime time is in the evening. Spotify’s popularity spikes in city environments, according to the survey; Hamburg and Bremen listeners give Spotify a 15%+ share in each of those city-states.’s coverage breaks out duplicated and unduplicated audiences in Germany’s largest state, Bayern (Bavaria), and isolates the results against top radio stations. There, it is apparent that Spotify’s share is higher when compared to radio stations with smaller audiences, and also that, in those cases, the duplicated audiences (people who listen to both Spotify and the radio station) are smaller.

TNS Spotify Bavaria

Spotify reach compared to traditional radio stations in Bavaria, with duplicated audience in yellow.

Users under the age of 35 are reportedly over-indexed for Spotify listening compared to radio listening — a demographic trend mirrored in most reach studies.

The study offers an interesting counterpoint to the drumbeat of information that charts Spotify’s subscription growth, where the company’s subscription audience is relentlessly compared to its entire usage footprint — subscribers and free listeners. Those bursts of information, combined with rumor-filled news reports of Spotify’s negotiations with subscriber-hungry record labels for music licensing in the U.S. service, paint a picture of a company that is primarily in the subscription business, not the advertising business. True as that might be, depending on geographic territory, Spotify really has a hybrid business model composed of subscrition revenue and advertising revenue.

Brad Hill