Kelly Research Asks Listeners About 'Free' Vs. 'Paid' Radio
April 6, 2016 at 5:08 AM (PT)
KELLY MUSIC RESEARCH examined how listeners feel about "free" vs "paid" radio. They post on their blog, "Streaming radio listeners have words of caution to music services, including radio, that have designs on converting them from free to paid subscriber: 'Not so fast.'
KELLY surveyed 500 people aged 17 to 59 years old in large, medium and small markets nationwide about their behavior and preference for streaming music services. "We asked about some of the big streaming players who offer free and paid services," they wrote. "We also included AM/FM radio in the array of topics. Not only did most say 'no thanks' to the idea of paying for their current free streams, verbatim comments show that many were infuriated by the hypothetical scenario suggesting that AM/FM radio might one day ask for a subscription fee."
KELLY found that, "Fewer than 8% of our survey respondents reported using the paid versions of PANDORA, SPOTIFY or SOUNDCLOUD. Advertiser-supported free is still preferred among those who have embraced streaming. PANDORA leads the pack among streamers with 64% saying they have used some form of the service. The number jumps to 75% of the younger 17-34 demographic. SPOTIFY was the service more likely to earn paid users with 4.6%, followed by PANDORA’s paid version with 2.4%."
When asked, "Would you pay?" KELLY found, "If free were no longer an option, few said they would ante up. Assuming there are other services out there that remain free, the vast majority would rather switch than pay. Only 12% say they would pay for their favorite stream if it were no longer free. Men are more likely to pay (14.2%) than women (10.5%). Younger streamers are the most willing to pay -- 22% of 17-24, 16% of 25-34, 11% of 35-44 and 8% of 45-59. The remainder would refuse to pay and just find a free service."
Regarding AM/FM radio usage, the survey noted, "Only 1.6% of our sample says they never listen to AM/FM. However, significant numbers now only listen to radio while in the car. While 98% report they still listen to traditional radio, 40.4% say the only place they listen to AM or FM radio stations is in the car. Among the younger 17-34 year olds, about 50% tune in to AM/FM only in the car."
Asked, "Would you pay for AM/FM?" KELLY found regarding listeners "being forced to pay for their favorite free streaming service, we also proposed the notion of being forced to pay to listen to AM/FM radio. Only 9.7% said they would pay to listen to their favorite AM/FM station. Compare this to 12% who say they’d pay for their favorite stream choice."
Read the full survey and all the verbatim comments here.