More Canadians Discovering New Music Through Streaming Services’ Playlist Algorithms

The increasing number of Canadians switching to music streaming services like Spotify is boosting playlist usage.

Neilsen Music has just released its 5th annual Music 360 Canada Report (via CTV News), a document that offers a goldmine of actionable data from a sample group of 13,000 respondents across the country.

The latest survey found that seven in 10 Canadians say they stream music using platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, or Google Play and of that figure, about 84 percent of respondents dig into playlists on those services.

This year’s survey marks the first time it has attempted to examine how playlists are reshaping the way people access music in this era of massive growth for streaming services.

According to the survey, about 98 percent of teen respondents – 13 to 17 years old – said they listen to playlists, which is two percent more than people aged 18 to 34.

As the music industry evolves with services like Spotify and Apple Music, many have suggested that playlists – often curated by streaming companies’ algorithms – are shifting the way people discover new music. However, Nielsen found that despite those assumptions, radio still holds the strongest overall influence when it comes to launching a new artist or song to Canadian audiences.

Among all Canadian music listeners, 66 percent listen to the radio to discover new music, 43 percent report discovery on streaming services, and 36 percent hear about new tunes from acquaintances, the survey reports.

These habits do seem to be shifting, however, as the number of survey respondents who said they listened to “over-the-air” radio at least once a week dropped down to 58 percent, six points less than last year’s survey.

Radio listenership is also heavily weighted in the older demographics, with 70 percent of people 45 to 54 years old listening on a weekly basis.

Check out the full results of the Music 360 Canada Report here.

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