Americans, who 15 years ago were accustomed to paying $18.99 for a CD that would be scratched irreparably within hours of its purchase, have now decided that $10 a month is too much to pay for the entirety of recorded music.
Based on a survey of 3,000 “music listeners,” Nielsen’s 2015 Music U.S. Report says that more and more people are streaming music, but much of it is from unpaid services. 46 percent of respondents said they would be unlikely to subscribe to Spotify or Apple Music because of the expense—which is roughly equivalent of buying a bag of Skittles twice a week, except instead of multicolored blobs of corn syrup, the bag contains virtually every song ever written or recorded, up to and including The Beatles. Even among users who paid for streaming music, 83 percent cited “cost” as the deciding factor behind which service they chose, finishing a hair above “ease of use,” and about 10 percent ahead of “song library.”
The Nielsen report also estimates that the average American spends $152 annually on music, with most of that going to live music. Streaming services only account for 7 percent, neck and neck with gift cards, but all things considered, digital music has made significant headway, as streaming (7 percent), satellite radio (11 percent), and digital recordings (11 percent) combined have more twice the revenue of physical recordings (13 percent for CDs, vinyl, and the 8-track revival you just know is coming).
With 10 million subscribers to Apple Music, and more than 20 million for Spotify, streaming music has convinced plenty of Americans having instant access to a vast catalog of music is worth the money. The rest of the country, however, is still holding out until everything they want can be hand-delivered to them for free on the back of a unicorn.
[via Consequence Of Sound]