Reports Music

The Playlist Revolution Streaming’s Battleground

Report by Zach Fuller
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The 20,000 Foot View:  Playlists are swiftly becoming the lingua franca of the music streaming economy. While most closely associated with Spotify, playlists are now central to streaming as an entire sector. While playlists may not yet have become the dominant use case for streaming music in the way that binge watching is for video, they are transforming how audiences consume music and are becoming the key tool by which streaming services can differentiate in a commodified and highly-competitive market.

Key Findings

  • Playlists are transforming music consumption, with        of consumers stating that they are listening to albums less because of playlists
  • Though others are catching up, Spotify remains a key power in playlists:        of Spotify subscribers listen to playlists regularly, compared to        of music streamers
  • Spotify has the majority of curated playlist users:        of curated playlist listeners are Spotify weekly active users (WAUs)
  • Just        of consumers listen to music over smart speakers, although the rate rises to an average of        across key streaming music app users
  • Smart speakers may be the native platform for playlists due to the fusion of machine learning, device and location
  • Spotify has the highest usage of its top curated playlists, with an average        WAU penetration of Spotify users across the top        and        for Today’s Top Hits
  • Amazon’s top        playlists’ average WAU penetration is just        but unlike Apple and Spotify its playlists are dominated by genre, mood and activity hybrids
  • Mood playlists are most popular with younger consumers (average age        while genre lists appeal most to older consumers (average age       
  • Podcasts are emerging as an important complement to playlists, with Spotify leading the charge 
  •        of Spotify users are podcast listeners, compared to        for Apple Music users

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Amazon, Amazon Music Unlimited, Amazon Prime Music, Anchor, Apple, AT&T, Comcast, Deezer, Facebook, Gimlet, Google, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, Instagram, Liberty Media, Microsoft, Pandora, Sirius XM, Soundcloud, Soundsgood, Spotify, Twitter, Viacom, Warner Media, Your Daily Drive, YouTube

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