Music Streaming Services and their Audiences

Music Streaming Services and their Audiences

Whether listening to Spotify in your car, streaming your favorite DJ via SoundCloud, or playing a holiday Pandora station during family Christmas, most modern consumers have participated in music streaming services. But within this broad universe of music streaming, we found distinct audience differences depending on the platform.

We honed in on exclusive Pandora, Spotify and SoundCloud users; for example, users that engage with the Spotify app and website, and not Pandora or SoundCloud’s.


SoundCloud Enthusiasts: Tech-y Gamers


SoundCloud users strongly appeal to the 18-24 year old crowd and 63% of their audience is male, leaving a surprisingly small female audience of 37% out of a projected online audience of 8,756,936 people.

The top websites SoundCloud music streaming fans visited were 4chan, Twitch TV and Stream Community – all of these websites are in the Japanese anime and videogame realm, which has continued to grow exponentially with the technology boom.

Their online behavior aligned with their attitudes when asked about video games:

-“I Need to Play Video Games on a Computer That Has Top of the Line Graphics and Processing Speed”: 142% more likely to agree

– “I Often Notice Brand Name Products in Video Games”: 125% more likely to agree

 “I Spend More Money on Video Games Than I Do on Music or Movies”: 87% more likely to agree

SoundCloud users also proved to be strong technology influencers and early adopters:

-“People Often Ask My Opinion When They Are Buying New Technology”: 102% more likely to agree

-“I’m Always the First Among My Friends to Have the Latest in Electronic Equipment”: 98% more likely to agree

-“I Like to Have a Lot of Gadgets”: 54% more likely to agree

Based on this data, SoundCloud could target their most loyal audience by forming partnerships with companies like Xbox, BestBuy or games like World of Warcraft.

Switching gears to look at Pandora’s audience, we found a completely different set of values.

Pandora Buffs: Politics and Money


Pandora Buffs were most likely to visit Netflix, Drudge Report and Washington Post, indicating strong interests in politics and at-home entertainment.

The majority of the websites they visited were news and media outlets on both the Republican and Democratic political spectrums, despite being 20% more likely to be “somewhat liberal”.

Women dominate the Pandora crowd with 57% of their 58,870,130 exclusive audience being female. The majority of these women fall in the 35-44 age range. Pandora also over-indexed for having an audience of high earners, with their average user 20% more likely to earn $100k per year.

Pandora’s audience is particularly financially savvy:

-“I’ll Pay Any Price for Good Financial Advice”: 15% more likely to agree

-“I Read the Financial Pages of My Newspaper”: 12% more likely to agree

-“I Find Advertising for Financial Services to Be Interesting”: 9% more likely to agree

Advertising via companies such as Rocket Mortgage or Money Magazine online may prove beneficial in reaching Pandora’s largest audience set.

While the SoundCloud and Pandora audiences seem to be quite polarized from one another, Spotify is cleaning up the middle ground. They have a nearly perfect equal balance of male and female users.


Spotify Socialites: More Instagram Please


Exclusive Spotify users are less niched than SoundCloud or Pandora loyalists. Their ages, political profiles and interests were widely varied within a group of 20,098,408 online users (note: this does not include in-app data). However, their activity online and their lifestyle ideals indicate a strong attachment to the world of social media.

Their audience visits Imgur, Hulu and BuzzFeed quite often. The attachment to a constant connection to social media plus their trust in the credibility of social media was echoed in their attitudes:

-“Without Access to Social Sharing/ Networking Websites, I Would Feel Even More Alone in the World”: 51% more likely to agree

-“I Am More Likely to Purchase Products I See Used or Recommended by Friends on Social Sharing/Networking Websites”: 50% more likely to agree

-“I Like to Follow My Favorite Brands or Companies on Social Sharing/ Networking Websites”: 24% more likely to agree

The data suggests that Spotify would fare well investing in promotions on social media via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, where their users are highly connected and trust the promotions they receive.

While Spotify has users across the age spectrum, they particularly over-index for 18-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds, who are encompassed by the Millennial age bracket, and explains their comfort with social media. The Millennial crowd continues to be open to information delivered to them via the internet, including ads, and openly admit to feeling the need to be constantly connected. In fact, they are:

54% more likely to be connected to the internet from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed.

Music streaming services and their audiences continue to grow as brands work to corner their piece of the market share. As companies compete in a market overwhelmed by advertising, having knowledge of their audience’s specific interests and online behavior allows them to build stronger partnerships and build a clearer marketing plan.

Data collected using Hitwise Intelligence and the Hitwise AudienceView tool. Data used measures online behaviors and attitudes of consumers who engage exclusively with one of the three music streaming services: SoundCloud, Pandora or Spotify. For example, the Pandora audience includes people who visit, use the Pandora app and/or search for Pandora, but do not visit or engage with Spotify or SoundCloud. Results measured over 8 weeks, 02-26-2017 to 04-22-2017.

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