Nielsen report shows many Americans see no point in paying for music streaming

nielsen report many americans find music streaming too expensive services generated a third of all revenue in first half 2015
It may seem that nobody buys music anymore, opting for streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music instead, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is happy to pay the monthly fee for streaming. Nielsen’s 2015 End Of Year Music Report (available as a PDF) shows that nearly half of Americans don’t see the point of paying for a streaming service.

Nielsen surveyed 3,000 music listeners in the U.S. and asked them about their music habits. When asked how likely they were to subscribe to a music streaming service in the next six months, only nine percent said they were “very likely” or “somewhat likely.” 13 percent chose that they were “neither likely nor unlikely,” while 78 percent of those surveyed said that they were “somewhat unlikely” or “very unlikely” to subscribe.

The report looked at the top three reasons listeners were not likely to subscribe, the winning answer with 46 percent of those surveyed was “they are too expensive.” The runner up with 42 percent was “I can stream music for free,” while the last reason with 38 percent was “I won’t use the streaming service enough.”

This doesn’t exactly spell doom and gloom for music streaming services. On the whole, music streaming was up 83 percent from 2014, but much of this would likely be free or ad-supported streaming, given the other answers given. Strangely enough, as Consequence of Sound points out, of those who pay for streaming, “cost” was the top reason given for why they pay.

Streaming on the whole may be up from last year, but it seems that where people go to satisfy their streaming needs may be changing. Apple Music just reached 10 million subscriptions, and many are forecasting it could hit 20 million by the end of the year, setting it up to overtake Spotify, which had 20 million subscribers as of last summer.

For those who aren’t paying for streaming, that could get more difficult in the future. Last month we reported that Spotify might be looking to limit its users’ free streaming. With YouTube pushing YouTube Red and YouTube Music, it might soon be drying up as a source for free music as well.


Netflix’s rate hike is a good thing. Wait, wait, hear us out

Upset at Netflix for raising its rates? We don't blame you. Nobody likes to pay more for anything -- even if they love that thing. But you really should be thanking the streaming entertainment giant. The hike in prices is a necessary and…

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Home Theater

Report: Spotify preparing to launch $100 in-car streaming device

According to a report, people familiar with Spotify's plans say the company is readying a dedicated in-car music streamer that will cost $100. It will work with any Bluetooth-enabled audio system and can be controlled by voice.

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.
Home Theater

Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable spreads analog joy throughout your home

It can be tough to listen to your favorite analog tunes anywhere besides the room where your turntable is located. With its MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable, Yamaha allows you to stream your tunes throughout your home.

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.

Jam out in hi-fi style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.

The best new music this week: James Blake, Maggie Rogers, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: James Blake, Maggie Rogers, Deerhunter, Juliana Hatfield, Pedro The Lion, Sharon Van Etten, Steve Gunn, and Toro y Moi.

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.

Fender’s Acoustasonic guitar uses advanced tech to become a tonal chameleon

From shredding distortion to a soft and supple fingerstyle, Fender's latest guitar innovation is an acoustic/electric hybrid that allows guitar players to dial in the widest possible range of tones.