Music Business

Playlists Have Passed Album Listenership, Says New Study

Headphones.png.625x385_q100It's no secret that how music is discovered and consumed is changing at a dizzying pace, thanks to streaming music. The latest proof is a survey that shows that listening to playlists have surpassed albums for the first time ever.

Playlists have surpassed albums as a format for music listening in the U.S., according to a new study conducted by LOOP and the Music Business Association (Music Biz).

Based on a May 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.

YouTube And Free Streaming Dominate

FreeYouTube has emerged as the most used source of audio content, with 42% 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%.

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. “The data in this report will be invaluable to our members as they decide where, when and how to release and promote new music.”

The Overall Landscape” report is now available for purchase via the members-only Music Biz Consumer Insights portal at Non-members who would like to purchase the report may contact Nicole Hennessey, Music Biz’s VP of Communications, at

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