Paying money for music? This is the question many music-lovers ask themselves when they want to hear songs from their favorite artists everywhere and every time. The popularity of CDs is far away, filling the smart phone or the MP3-Player with music is often annoying and sometimes the new favorite song is still missing on the way.
Music streaming services seem to be a good alternative to hear music nonstop and on the go.
Additionally, there’s another benefit: Records are expensive and often you don’t really like each song. Substituted you can buy single songs, but on average one dollar for a song can make you pay a proud amount of cash, depending on how many songs you buy. For streaming services you mostly pay on a monthly basis, depending on how many hours you listen to music or whether you want to have your music with you everywhere.
Social Media Music: A Successful E-Commerce Model
Music streaming services are successful. They reach a wide range of users. We’re not only talking about the internet users in general, but about the social media users who are connected – in the era of smart phones the connection stays nearly everywhere and every time, parallel working to the music streaming services.
And at this point, social media music is born. It’s not only about hearing music, it’s also about the viral power users create through song recommendations, shares and likes. When music is discovered through friends, people listen to more music and more various artists. To think one step wider, this social exploration functions like a big marketing campaign, which can increase growth and at least ROI for the artists. Facebook makes it easy and effective possible to discover music through the Open Graph functionalities: With such a truly social connection to the big music streaming services Spotify, Deezer, Rdio and others, the success of those services can be pushed on a high level. Hearing a song on Spotify appears in the newsfeed of your friends. Big win of this model: Facebook friends can recognize the name of the music service and the artist, too. So you see, consuming music has become a wide spread social activity, which balloons the success of such modern music streaming services.
Music Streaming Services Face A Strong Competition
Music streaming is a successful model for the internet, although the companies have to handle a lot of problems, e.g. the management of the licenses. Nevertheless, this market is still growing. However, the competition is strong and nearly endless, because the user can decide between millions of songs. Aspects like loading time, number of songs, quality and many others are crucial for a users constancy on one service. But if anything doesn’t work perfectly, the competitors are waiting for the user to defect to them.
How is the competition in the area of social media music? We analyzed six of the biggest and most established streaming services on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and tried to find out whether the success of the services looks similar on the social networks or whether fans, followers and subscribers can’t make a clear decision among all those music streaming services.
The first overview presents the differences of the success of the music streaming services in pure numbers. iTunes is leaving it’s competitors far behind with a huge popularity on the social networks, but it is not only a music streaming service, but also offers videos, movies, TV shows, books and podcasts. So the large numbers result from the fact, that the Facebook page of iTunes involves all those services. On Twitter, iTunes drives a single performance for iTunes music. Pandora, which established the categorization of music tracks (Music Genome Project) in 2007, has been nearly kept up by the competitors during the last years. Numbers are good, but we want to take a deeper look in the spheres of social media music.
Social Media Music: Streaming Services On Facebook
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We’re starting our analysis by focusing the social media music performances on Facebook. The key metrics radar is a best case instrument for social media benchmarking, so it directly shows the strengths and weaknesses of brands compared to the competition. In this case, Rdio’s biggest strength is the high fan change rate for the last three months, but there is a huge need for action in the other areas like interactions. In opposite to Rdio, iHeartRadio’s strengths are in the interaction part on Facebook, but it registers the lowest growth in this time period. On the one hand, the six music streaming services have oppositional areas on Facebook, which need improvements, but on the other hand, they also have oppositional strengths that make them succeeding on Facebook.
The key metrics table gives a more detailed overview by giving total numbers for the chosen data period from 18th August to 27th October. To begin with the fan change rate, this metric is a good indicator for the interest in a product, the fan loyalty and the success of marketing campaigns. With only one published post, Rdio shows a very low level of interaction on Facebook. iHeartRadio counters with 231 posts and a large number of people talking about this service. The increase results seem to result from the iHeartRadio festival in september 2013, which created a strong viral buzz on social media. iTunes can overcome with more than the double number of people who talked about the Apple service in this time period.
Interacting with the fans on Facebook is important to reach advantages over competitors. The response rate indicates whether companies react on consumer questions and the general way of communicating with their audience. Having one more look at the table, iHeartRadio and Rdio show huge response rates, which represents a strong connection to the Facebook audience. Meanwhile Spotify isn’t even going to allow user posts on it’s Facebook page. Maybe this disconnection to the fans and the small input, Spotify gives on the performance, lead to the small fan growth and the low viral spread we recognize in the table. iTunes also doesn’t show a close fan relationship because it allows user posts indeed, but doesn’t respond to anything.
The hard competition, music streaming services have to face, also becomes visual in this table: The key interacting users are those users, who take the most action on the measured Facebook sites during the chosen time period. In this case, the most interactions can be allocated to iHeartRadio. In addition to that, some users take action on several social media music services on Facebook, for example some users posted on Pandora as well as on iHeartRadio on Facebook during the last fourteen days.
Offer The Beat, Get A Tweet: Music Streaming Services On Twitter
Views change on Twitter: iTunes has regularly fed the followers with tweets in this month. Meanwhile, the followers recognized this input with a lot of mentions and makes iTunes the unchallenged leader in this category. Spotify is as little active on Twitter as on Facebook. Although Pandora often responds to follower questions, the pioneer of music categorization can’t really keep up with the competition. Deezer comes up with a high follower change rate, but with it’s low interactions, the service isn’t able to gain on the other music streaming services. Refer to the level of newsfeed on Twitter, iTunes is far away from the competition with the most own tweets and the most retweets.
Sound Meets Video: Social Media Music On YouTube
Firstly, we get that iTunes has no channel on YouTube, so for the following comparison of social media music on the audiovisual network, iTunes is out.
During the period from Oct 7th to Oct 27th, Rdio registers the highest views change rate, which obviously had no effect on the subscriber change rate. Deezer’s and Pandora’s YouTube audience has grown mostly. Refer to the total numbers of videos and views, iHeartRadio leaves it’s competitors far behind. Compared to Pandora, the music streaming service of those five which was founded first (2000), which only registers 60 videos in total, the younger service iHeartRadio (founded in 2008) already counts 192 videos. But in the measured period, Pandora shows a higher views change rate and subscriber change rate than iHeartRadio.
A Strong Competition Requires A Strong Social Media Marketing
In comparison, we realized different social media music performances refer to input as well as to success. But in general, all music streaming services show presence on the largest social networks Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Summing up, iTunes appears as the competition leader, but with an innovative marketing like a festival, iHeartRadio can easily keep up on social media.
It seems that the popularity of music streaming services are growing with the increasing number of launches. The services reach a wide range of fans, followers and subscribers, but most of them still use the service in the free version. Maybe with an efficient, expansive social media marketing the services are able to create another appreciation for music and the way to consume it.
It is difficult to choose the right music streaming tool, because the offers and features are more or less similar on each. The only thing that counts is that you are able to hear your favorite music everywhere, for a fair price. Isn’t this a great feeling? A negative aspect will always be the fact, that you are not the song owner. It is just a stream. But even for the future, it will be hard to find an all-inclusive solution. Because music is part of culture and is worth to spend some money on.
How are you currently consuming music? And are you willing to pay for good music? Your choice! If you’re unsure at the moment, grab your ear-phone, play one of your favorite songs and sing along loudly!