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Apple music is more popular with old farts, new study suggests

Apple Music
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Apple’s fledgeling music streaming service has its work cut out for it to beat Spotify, but it seems at least one sub-section of the listening public likes the swing Apple Music’s groove: old fogies. Old in the still-nascent world of streaming music, that is.

According to a new survey by research and advisory firm Jackdaw, people older than 35 were almost twice as likely to start paying for Apple Music after the service’s three month free trial ended.

Of the 500 iPhone users surveyed, 67 percent of those over 35 signed up for the paid service, as compared to just 38 percent of those younger. Oddly enough, the likelihood of having tried the service decreased considerably as a respondent got older, which means that though people over 35 are less likely to have tried Apple Music’s service in the first place, they are much more inclined to keep using it once they do.

Apple Maps proved it once already; It’s tough to enter a new market when there are already highly-qualified competitors, even for the largest (and most valuable) tech company in the world.

The company entered the streaming marketplace years after Spotify and Pandora became popular, and it makes sense that it would have to play catch-up with a younger generation who have already been using those other services for years.

40 percent of the respondents who said they didn’t sign up for a free trial with Apple Music were already using another streaming service. Similarly, over half of those who cancelled after the trial said they preferred other streaming services they had previously used.

As far as reasons to stick around, people who listed new music discovery as a high priority were much more likely to begin paying for Apple Music, which is a good sign for the service. Apple Music’s “For You” tab competes with Spotify’s extremely popular Discover feature.

Apple itself has not revealed an official tally of how many paid users were retained after fee trials began expiring on September 30, but analysts estimate that of the 15 million subscribers the company lured in for the trial, anywhere between a quarter and half of them were expected to stay, estimated by one analyst to likely fall to around 3-4 million subscribers in the near future. Spotify, the company’s leading competitor, currently has about 20 million paid users, leaving a lot of ground to make up.

Still, Apple has made strong inroads with at least one segment of the listening public, and there are plenty of more users out there still unattached to any streaming service, ripe for the picking.

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Parker Hall
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Parker Hall is a writer and musician from Portland, OR. He is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin…
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