From vinyl records to tapes and audio CDs, most of today’s music has been converted to digital platforms. Streaming services have changed the way listeners consume music, as well as how artists promote their music.
In an attempt to discover what music streaming service is most popular among students, an anonymous student survey was conducted. Individuals chose between streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Soundcloud, Tidal and an “other” option.
Those who responded “other” replied with responses such as YouTube, Google Play and Amazon Music, or said they prefer to buy their music.
Exactly 399 people responded to the survey — 249 responses were online while 150 responses occurred in-person.
The survey showed that 49 percent of students on campus chose Spotify as their preferred music streaming service.
Within the survey, most students wrote that they liked the student discount that Spotify offers, curated playlists for particular moods and its wide selection of new music.
Most streaming services offer paid subscriptions for ad-free listening and other app-specific features. These same services offer free subscriptions as well, with more limited features.
Pandora was the second-most popular choice in the survey. What drew some students to Pandora was its simplicity and ease of use. On the app, one can pick a song or artist and the service essentially creates a radio station based on similar artists and song.
Freshman Daniela Mora says that Apple Music is more selective. Ever since Apple’s streaming service launched, it has hosted exclusive releases, with artists’ labels having chosen it as the only streaming platform on which their latest work is made available.
Recent Apple Music exclusives include Frank Ocean’s “Blonde,” Adele’s “25,” Drake’s “Views” and Travis Scott’s “Birds in the Trap Sing Mcknight.”
These works were available only on Apple’s streaming service for a certain amount of time, depending on the artist: Adele only released “25” to other streaming services four months ago, even though physical copies were released the same day the music was available through Apple. Drake’s “Views” was an Apple Music exclusive for only two weeks, but ended up being the first album ever to reach more than two billion audio streams on the platform.
Students favored Apple Music over Soundcloud by 10 percent. Soundcloud is a platform where users can stream music, and can also post original music. Students who preferred this service said they liked the variety of original music and remixes that sometimes are only found on Soundcloud, along with the fact it is free.
In contrast, sophomore Bryce Cushing says the Tidal streaming service is too expensive. Tidal was not a popular selection among students, receiving less than one percent of the votes according to the survey.
Artists like Beyoncé and Kanye West gave their albums the exclusive treatment on Tidal. Tidal gained more than a million new users the day West’s “Life of Pablo” was released, after the artist threatened his album would only be available there.
West eventually made his album available on all platforms, and has insisted on Twitter that Apple should buy Tidal, urging the two companies to “let the kids have the music.”
Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” was a Tidal-exclusive visual album, but eventually was made available for purchase on iTunes. “Lemonade” still is not on Spotify. Cushing says that is uncommon.
“On Tidal you can get like six songs, and then three weeks later you can get all of them on Spotify,” Bryce says. “So there’s no point to it.”
The survey was conducted from Wednesday, Oct. 5 to Wednesday, Oct. 12. The margin of error was plus or minus five percent.