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Price Isn’t Necessarily the Barrier

MusicWatch Inc.’s Annual Music Study reveals that three out of four college students (77%) found some feature that would motivate them to pay for a premium music streaming service. That’s significantly more than compared to the 46% of overall streaming users who say they would pay.

The study surveyed 5,000 Americans 13 and over, and over, 700 of those who participated were college students. Monmouth University’s Music Industry Program Director and Chair of the Music and Theatre Arts Department Chair Joe Rapolla then analyzed the survey and posted his conclusions online.

“The data shows that price isn’t necessarily the barrier,” Rapolla said. “However, given that many students are satisfied with the music they can get from the free, ad-supported options, and so many have come to rely on video streaming services to get their music, the value-proposition of premium streaming services becomes imperative to communicate. Free is a price point that needs to strategically and carefully co-exist with other price points.”

Based on this information (and perhaps informed by his time as a senior vice president of marketing at Warner Music), Rapolla believes “the services need to structure their offerings, commercially positioning each so they are all generating revenue.”

Students were motivated to pay for streaming if: it was more difficult to get music from free services, if the paid version offers more choices or if new music was not available until later on the free service.

Some of Rapolla’s other key findings about college students include:

● “Bundling” of subscription music services with mobile bills was perceived as an incentive

● Free trials are helpful in converting listeners from the “freemium” to pay models

● One in five full-time college students bought a CD last year

● 25% still purchase paid downloads (and listen to them)