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Social Is the Key to Streaming Satisfaction

Apple Music ranks highest among the music brands included in recent J.D. Power study

It’s probably no surprise that the paid streaming subscribers who report the highest levels of satisfaction are also those who are most engaged with these services.

According to J.D. Power’s Streaming Music Satisfaction Study, these listeners are defined as those who follow other users and/or listen to their playlists and those who also say they share their own playlists.

The study measures overall satisfaction among customers who have used a subscription streaming music service within the past six months. It was based on responses from 4,482 customers, conducted in June and July 2016. It was an independent study conducted and funded by J.D. Power.

Customer satisfaction was considered in the following areas: performance and reliability; ease of use; cost of service; content; communication; and customer service (listed in order of importance, according to J.D. Power).

Apple Music ranks highest among the brands included in the study; it leads with the highest score in performance and reliability, content and ease of use. Rhapsody ranks second, performing particularly well in cost of service and communication. Google Play Music and Amazon Prime Music were tied for the lowest overall satisfaction.

Additionally, satisfaction is higher across all measures among customers who pay for their music services, compared with those who use free music services.

Overall satisfaction is also higher among customers who use smart watches, home automation controllers, virtual reality viewers and Bluetooth speakers to stream, as opposed to those who do not.

Kirk Parsons, senior director and technology, media and telecom practice leader at J.D. Power explained the key to streamers’ success is dependent on whether brands can “create a viable music ecosystem that can not only support multiple types of devices, but also facilitate listeners’ social sharing and following of playlists with others.”

According to J.D. Power, there are four types of listeners: passive listeners, fully engaged listeners, followers and sharers. Passive listeners, who neither share their own content/playlists nor consume other users’ content, comprise 44% of streamers. Engaged listeners are about one-third of those surveyed. Less than a quarter (22%) are followers, listening to other users’ content/playlists but do not share their own. And the smallest segment, at 5%, is the sharers, who “always” or “sometimes” share their own playlists but do not consume other users’ content.

Satisfaction in all measures is lower among customers who are not engaged than among those who are, the survey concludes.

Also, among customers who listen to music released exclusively on their streaming service, overall satisfaction is higher than among those who do not listen to exclusive content; and content satisfaction is also higher and makes them more likely to recommend their provider.

A version of this article originally appeared on the website of Radio magazine, sister publication of Radio World.