Apple Music tops J.D. Power streaming satisfaction study


Research firm J.D. Power recently carried out a ‘streaming satisfaction study’ interviewing American music subscribers about the services they used.

The results were good news for Apple Music, which topped the rankings with an index ranking of 834 based on a 1,000-point scale. Rhapsody (826), Pandora (825) and Spotify (824) were all above the industry average of 822 points, with TuneIn (820), Amazon Prime Music (818) and Google Play Music (818) only slightly behind.

Apple has regularly cited this kind of survey when comparing iOS devices to Android, so you can expect to see J.D. Power’s headline findings referenced the next time there’s an Apple Music interview or press event. But there are some interesting findings below that main verdict on attitudes towards streaming more generally in the US.

“Satisfaction with paid streaming music service is impacted by the level of engagement with listening to and sharing playlists and content with others,” reported the research firm. A logical finding. It also breaks down the streaming universe: 44% of subscribers neither share their own playlists nor consume those of others; 22% consume other users’ playlists but don’t share their own; 5% share their own playlists but don’t consume those of others; and 29% are “fully engaged listeners”.

J.D. Power also claimed that there’s a 19-point satisfaction gap between music subscribers and free streamers – not a surprise –and that people using devices like smartwatches, home automation controllers (!) and Bluetooth speakers are also more satisfied. Perhaps the biggest talking point: “Among customers who listen to content released exclusively on their streaming service, overall satisfaction is 52 points higher than among those who do not, and content satisfaction is 59 points higher.”

74% of customers who listen to exclusive content say they “definitely will” recommend their streaming service of choice to friends: a word-of-mouth effect underpinning the strategies of Apple Music and Tidal, despite the ongoing debate within the industry about whether exclusives will be healthy in the long-term.

Written by: Stuart Dredge