Spotify Releases New Radio Listening Study Aimed at European Advertisers

Spotify has released the results of a study it is calling "The New Audio," commissioned from market research company TNS, analyzing how the company's free-listening tier stacks up to traditional broadcast radio in terms of demographics, engagement and whether Spotify can deliver to brands listeners that traditional radio can't.

The study quizzed, online, over 20,000 respondents in 10 European countries between May and June of this year, asking them about how, when, and where they listen. "We hope the results help demystify today’s audio consumer and shed more light on how digital and broadcast platforms complement one another," writes Jonathan Forster, vp of EMEA sales, in its introduction.

Across all 10 countries the study points to 'incremental reach' -- or additive reach for advertisers, providing access to listeners that a particular station can't -- on the top radio stations in each country. France provided the lowest additive reach (5 percent on its most-popular FM station) while Italy provided the highest (17 percent on its most-popular FM station).

While the gloves are kept on and well-padded in this newest report, an earlier post to Spotify's "For Brands" website was slightly more bare-knuckle with respect to its relationship with terrestrial radio, pointing out that respondents in a different survey found advertising on traditional radio to be more frequent and more intrusive.

The opening headline of the document says that "streaming is now mainstream," but you wouldn't be able to tell looking at physical-format-loving Germany's entry. The country is obstinate with regards to streaming, with only 8.8 percent of consumers using Spotify -- and Spotify is the largest digital music service in the country. (Even the Berlin-based SoundCloud only reaches 2.8 percent of consumers, says the study.)

Also notable is that Spotify is the second most-popular digital music service in the U.K., behind iTunes (the study was conducted before Apple Music was launched). As well, the company doesn't present similar rankings, or boast being the most popular digital service, in its home base of Sweden, or neighboring (and streaming friendly) Norway. Perhaps most indicative of all, 60 percent of those asked say they don't pay "full or most" attention while listening -- to ads, music, podcasts, or anything else.