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DSP user profiles Small is beautiful

Report by Mark Mulligan
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20,000 foot view:  With streaming music now in its mature growth stage in most leading music markets, differentiation will be key to unlocking further growth pockets. While this will likely require innovation in both product and licensing, there are already clear signs that the streaming services are developing userbases with distinct and varied behaviours and characteristics. The overriding theme is that userbases of larger services are more mainstream and less engaged, while smaller ones lean towards highly engaged music fans.

Key insights 

  • YouTube and Spotify lead music streaming weekly active user (WAU) penetration, with        and        respectively, while Amazon’s Prime Music is third at       
  • YouTube has the highest share of users        that are also daily users, while most other services are below       
  • Prime Music has the oldest WAU userbase (an average age of        while all other userbases are, on average, aged in their       
  • Smartphones still dominate streaming listening, but rates vary by DSP userbase, with Spotify being the highest        and Tidal the lowest       
  • Tidal’s audiophile userbase is illustrated by the fact it has the highest share of WAUs        who listen via home stereos
  • Amazon’s Echo strategy has paid dividends, with Amazon Music Unlimited consumers most likely to listen via smart speakers       
  • Userbase size and listening are inversely correlated – Tidal (fewest users) has the highest listening        weekly hours), YouTube (most users) has just        hours
  • The more mainstream the userbase is, the more widely spread user genre preferences are, with the inverse also true
  • Only        of streaming users report that they mainly listen to new music, illustrating the disconnect between the industry classification of catalogue and user perceptions
  • Tidal users are the most engaged music fans – the most likely to be music aficionados        to listen to full albums        and to buy merch       

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Amazon, Amazon Echo, Amazon Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, ByteDance Music, Deezer, SoundCloud, Spotify, Tidal, TikTok, YouTube, YouTube Music

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