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People prefer listening to playlists, not albums: study

People prefer listening to playlists, not albums: studyPlaylists have now surpassed albums as a format for music listening, according to a new study conducted by LOOP (Lots of Online People), the Music Business Association (Music Biz) reported on Thursday.

The insight comes from “Music Consumption: The Overall Landscape,” the third in-depth report to be issued via Music Biz Consumer Insights, the interactive, member-exclusive research portal hosted on www.musicbiz.org.

Based on a May 2016 survey of 3,014 U.S. respondents, the report shows that playlists accounted for 31% of total listening time across all demographics, while albums accounted for only 22%. Single track listening remained the dominant format with 46% of total listening time, but that number is down 6% from 2015, in which it accounted for 52% overall.

In addition, YouTube has emerged as the most regularly used source for audio content, with 42% of respondents stating that they used the service to listen to audio for five minutes or more at least once a week. Pandora was next on the list with 31% saying the same, with CDs lagging behind at 22%.

The report also dug into freemium streaming, finding that 42% of respondents were not paying for music streaming subscriptions because they were happy using ad-supported freemium tiers.

“As the music business continues to grow and evolve, it is crucial that we understand the progression of music consumption trends so we can deliver the best experience possible,” said James Donio, President of Music Biz.

This report confirms that playlists are becoming more and more dominant in the music industry as streaming services gain traction,” said David Lewis, Co-Founder of LOOP.
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