90% of music streamers have listened to or created a playlist, according to a new study by Music Watch. Paid subscribers were the most active, with 80% listening daily and and half listening to a playlist every time they stream music. Among those who listened to a service’s playlist, 90% have also created a personal playlist in the past 3 months.
“Playlisting has become the fabric of the music streaming experience,” said Russ Crupnick, managing partner of MusicWatch. “The ability to listen to and create playlists has become as important a feature as the catalog of music itself.”
Both Spotify and Apple Music users reported similar listening habits. Genre-based playlists were the most popular among the 500 survey respondents, capturing 68% of streaming users. 24% listened to a genre-based playlist each time they used a music-streaming service; with genre and familiarity ranking highest in importance, when deciding which playlist to listen to.
Top 40 and other chart-based and mood-based playlists each get regular plays from 50% of users.
One difference between users of the two services: 21% of Apple Music users listen to “Discovery Mix” compared to 15% for Spotify’s “Discovery Weekly.”
80% of music streamers also listen to music on AM/FM radio.
“Ease and convenience” and “discovery”, both hallmarks of traditional broadcast radio, were cited by many as reasons to use playlists when they stream music.
Fans Don't Care About Human vs. Machine Curation
“We set out to understand what’s really important to listeners, and it’s the essence of the song and the artist that wins, in the end,” Crupnick said. “There’s debate about human versus machine curation, about celebrity personalization, and about music sharing on social platforms, but ultimately listeners are really most concerned about whether a playlist provides song that they like and offers a touch of music discovery, too.”