Music Business

How Long Do We Listen To A Song?

Out of skipsBy Bobby Owsinski on Music 3.0

We now live in a world where it's really easy to skip a song that we're listening to if we're not satisfied. This is a revelation of sorts because it wasn't always that way on a personal level in the days of vinyl and even CDs, and of course it's still like that when it comes to radio. But in today's streaming world a new choice is only a click away to switch to something that's more to our liking. had a recent piece called "The Skip" that looked in depth at the current listening habits of Spotify users. Why Spotify? It has some of the best user data available, making it easy to extract some conclusions from billions of music plays. Here's what the post found:

  • We're almost as likely to skip to another song as we are to listen to it. 

24.14% skip within the first 5 seconds
28.97% skip within the first 10 seconds
35.05% skip within the first 30 seconds
48.6% skip before the song finishes!

  • The average listener skipped 14.65 times per hour.
  • Mobile users skip more – 51.1% versus 40.1% for desktop users.
  • People skip more in the morning before they start work. The less they concentrate on the music, the less they skip.
  • The skipping rate is higher on the weekends, when people have more spare time.

The takeaway is that a true listen to your music may be very elusive. What may be counted as a stream may only be someone passing through until they find something that they really like!


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