Gee, I Wonder Why People Aren’t Paying for Streaming Music Services…

Why doesn’t Spotify have more paying subscribers?  The reasons are simple: (1) people are already subscribing to way too many other things, and (2) those other ‘things’ make free music way too easy to access.

From a just-published survey from Blackhawk Engagement Solutions (notice music isn’t even on the questionnaire):


And when it comes to music services, they typically prefer the free stuff


21 Responses

  1. Versus

    When is “too many” really too many?
    Is there any evidence for this causal claim?

    It’s just as likely that they don’t pay for music simply because there are “too many” free alternatives, legal and not. If those were limited, I would venture to predict paying subscribers would multiply dramatically.

  2. Anonymous

    Lots of people also subscribe to:

    health insurance
    car insurance
    car payment/gas
    and food (meals on wheels!)


    • Wooly

      Those are all things that are required. Music streaming services are luxuries.

  3. Name2

    itunes is a streaming service? Did they manage to finally throw a launch no one knows about?

      • Name2

        iMatch is not on-demand streaming – it finds matches based on taste and history.

        Also, IIRC, iCloud is basically storage for what you own in some fashion. A file locker with decorative touches.

        See, Paul? The truth isn’t that hard.

        • djg

          Doen’t iTunes have a radio service pretty much identical to pandora?

    • Robin Solis

      That’s why Apple bought Beats-and that will soon be called something more “Applely”

  4. Tone

    Maybe this is why music streaming should be bundled with the services in the chart above.

  5. FarePlay

    Perception is everything. You offer something for free for too long, as has already been done, it’s a long hard climb back. So you either buy into the illusion that this is all leading somewhere positive for artists or you go through the pain of tearing it all down and rebuilding.

    Spotify is already moving away from music as they try and find new ways to make a business from 60 million subscribers, which will do nothing for artists and the music industry, but prolong the agony.

  6. Johnny D

    I submit to you that for the purposes of music, audiences would be far more likely to subscribe to an artist that they feel they have a relationship with as opposed to a company. It would be interesting to see that play out.

    • Musicservices4less

      I agree, and that is the way it should be. No service should be allowed to stream or otherwise provide free music without the specific consent of each sound recording copyright owner. And it should be the obligation of the sound recording copyright owner to be ultimately responsible for dealing with the musical composition copyright owner for the musical composition contained on that sound recording. If you really want something you should have to pay for it just like everything else in this world.

  7. Rodney Mason

    Thanks for checking out our report on shoppers’ use of subscription services. As a nice complement to your story I would point out that just a small incentive can drive significant sign up for streaming music services. Consumers report that a prepaid card worth just $10 is the best motivator for purchase. We invite you to read more here:

  8. Anonymous

    I subscribe…Millennial here.. and no i don’t pay for cable or watch TV for that matter.


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