A new report indicates that almost 80 percent of Americans are unlikely to pay for a music streaming service. The most cited reason for the lack of interest is that the services charge too much.
The data, compiled by Nielsen in a survey of 3,500 Americans, indicates that 78 percent of Americans are either very or somewhat unlikely to pay for a streaming music service in the next 6 months, with 13 percent being neither likely nor unlikely and 9 percent being very or somewhat likely.
This adds fuel to the fire of reports that interest in streaming music services may have actually plateaued. Recent figures released by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) show that there were 8.1 million paid users of music streaming services at the end of the first half of 2015. This represents a mere 2.5 percent increase from the year before.
It's not clear whether the recently introduced Apple Music will turn the tide. The much-publicized service has signed up 15 million users to its free trial of the streamer, but with September 30 marking the beginning of the end of the trial, it's unclear how many of those free trial users will actually convert to paid subscribers. A recent report indicates that about half of the free trial users have already turned off the auto charge option which would allow Apple to charge them when their free trial ends. How many of the rest will become paid subscribers for the long haul is uncertain.
The most cited reason for not being likely to subscribe to a streaming service is cost. Almost half of all Americans surveyed, 46 percent, stated that the cost of streaming music was too high. Forty-two percent stated they would rather stream music for free, and 38 percent said they just wouldn't use the service enough.
The fact that cost is the biggest factor supports the recent findings of MiDIA analyst Mark Mulligan, who explained recently that most consumers aren't interested in paying for the huge multimillion song catalogues of most streaming services and would be happier with a lower-cost niche programming focusing on a core selection of artists and songs in their favorite genres.