Hitwise Music Streaming Data Identifies Significant Behavioral Differences

"OK, Google, Play my music list." At the Google I/O developers conference, the company announced that the music playback feature on its speaker device, Home, will soon support free, non-premium Spotify accounts, Soundcloud, and Deezer. The device might even help Spotify keep its market share lead, which analysts at Hitwise suggest continues to widen between rivals SoundCloud and Pandora.

Hitwise -- a Connexity company that monitors the online behavior of more than 8 million panelists on more than 20 million Web sites by 500 million monthly search queries -- released data Thursday analyzing music streaming services and found significant differences between Spotify, SoundCloud, Pandora audiences.

The data, excluding the keyword searches, was measured between February 26, 2017 and April 22, 2017. It focuses on exclusive listeners for one music service or another to better understand the most loyal audiences -- for example, music listeners who visit SoundCloud.com and not Pandora.com or Spotify.com.

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Spotify Gains Loyalty

Music listeners who solely visit Spotify.com fit less into a niche segments, compared with SoundCloud or Pandora loyalists. Their ages, political profiles and interests are more varied within a group of 20,098,408 exclusive Web site visitors, their activity online and their lifestyle ideals indicate a strong attachment to the world of social media, per Hitwise data. 

While Spotify users cover a wide range, most are between the ages of 18 and 24 and between 25 and 34. Those in the Millennial generation are more open to receive information from ads on the Internet or visiting sites like Imgur, Hulu and BuzzFeed.

This group also openly admits to feeling the need to be continually connected, with 54% saying they are more likely to be connected to the Internet from the moment they wake up to the moment until they go to bed.

The top ten searches on engines reflect their preferences. Variations of keyword search strings with the word "Spotify" grew 93% from .014% of all searches in April 2014 to .027% in April 2017. The top ten keyword terms for the four weeks ending May 13, 2017 include "spotify," "spotify web player," "spotify premium," "spotify download," "spotify web," "spotify student," "spotify direct listing nyse," "spotify premium apk," "play.spotify," and "Spotify family."

SoundCloud's Audience Skews Toward Men

SoundCloud users appeal to music listeners between the ages of 18 and 24, and 63% of their audience is male, of the 8,756,936 exclusive visitors. The top Web sites this group visits most often include 4chan, Twitch TV and Stream Community.

Variations of search strings with the keyword "SoundCloud" fell 44% during the same time period from .023% of all searches to 0.13%, respectively. The top ten keyword terms for the four weeks ending May 13, include "soundcloud," "soundcloud, to mp3," "soundcloud downloader," "soundcloud.com," "download soundcloud," "download from soundcloud," "soundcloud download," "download soundcloud songs," "soundcloud converter," and "soundcloud login."

Pandora Attracts More Women

Women dominate the Pandora listening audience with 57% of the 58,870,130 exclusive visitors being female. The majority of these women fall between the ages of 35 and 44. Pandora also over-indexed for having an audience of high financial earners, with their average user 20% more likely to bring home an annual salary of more than $100,000.

The majority of the Web sites they visited were news and media outlets on both the Republican and Democratic political spectrums, despite being 20% more likely to be “somewhat liberal." This group is more likely to visit Netflix, Drudge Report, and Washington Post indicating their interests tended more toward politics and at-home entertainment, according to Hitwise.

When it comes to searches, a bit of confusion sets in as the search engines attempt to interpret the intent of the search between Pandora the music streaming service and Pandora the jewelry brand.

For Pandora, the top ten keyword terms for the four weeks ending May 13 include "pandora," "charms," "pandora radio," "pandora charms," "pandora jewelery," "pandora.com," "pandora radio listen to free Internet radio," "pandora premium," "pandora rings," "pandora bracelet," and "pandora login."

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