|Based on responses from 4,482 customers, the inaugural study measured overall satisfaction among customers who in the past six months had used a subscription-based streaming music service.|
Satisfaction was examined across six metrics, comprising: performance and reliability, ease of use, cost of service, content, communication and customer service, each based on a 1,000-point scale.
Apple Music posted an overall score of 834, with the highest score in three of the six measures, with J.D. Power noting it performed "particularly well in performance and reliability, content and ease of use".
Rhapsody ranked second with a score of 826, followed by Pandora (825), Spotify (824), TuneIn (820), Amazon Prime Music (818) and Google Play Music (818), with an industry average of 822.
Among the study's findings is that paid streaming music service satisfaction "is impacted by the level of engagement with listening to and sharing playlists and content with others".
Among four distinct listener profiles, passive listeners make up the largest segment (customers neither sharing their own content/playlists, nor consuming other users' content) at 44 per cent.
The other profiles comprise 29 per cent being fully engaged listeners, 22 per cent followers (consuming other users' content/playlists, but not sharing their own), and 5 per cent sharers (who "always" or "sometimes" share their own playlists, but do not consume other users' content).
J.D. Power found that paid services generate higher satisfaction than free streaming, with satisfaction higher across all measures, with an overall satisfaction gap advantage of 19 points.
Satisfaction, meanwhile, is lowest among passive listeners, with satisfaction rising in accordance with rising levels of engagement and contribution to a streaming community.
Passive listeners recorded an overall satisfaction of 801, followed by followers (812), with satisfaction highest among fully engaged listeners (860) and sharers (833), with satisfaction in all measures lower among customers who are not engaged.
J.D. Power additionally found that exclusive content improves customer advocacy, with overall satisfaction for customers who listen to content released exclusively on their streaming service being 52 points higher than among those who do not and content satisfaction 59 points higher.
Overall satisfaction was also higher among customers who use a peripheral device to stream music, with smartwatches (+57 points), home automation controllers (+50) and virtual reality viewers (+48), along with Bluetooth speakers (+23), having a considerable effect on satisfaction.
"The streaming music customer experience appears to be affected by a number of dimensions, including paid vs. free streaming, device choice and content selection," Kirk Parsons, J.D. Power senior director and technology, media & telecom practice leader, commented.
"The key to success, however, is increasingly becoming how well streaming music brands create a viable music ecosystem that can not only support multiple types of devices, but also facilitate listeners' social sharing and following of playlists with others."