Lyrics take centre stage in music streaming, report finds

Headphones - Photo by Malte Wingen on Unsplash

A consumer report has found that lyrics take centre stage in music streaming, with 88 percent of music subscribers looking for lyrical content.

MIDiA Research conducted the survey in November 2017, speaking to consumers in the UK, US and Germany.

It found that 65 percent of music subscribers want lyrics simply so they know the words of the song, while 55 percent said they wanted to be able to sing along with their favourite track.

Discussing the significance of listener age, the report – carried out by managing director, Mark Mulligan – states: ‘It is fair to say that lyrics and music streaming go hand in hand, especially for younger music fans.

‘In fact, 60 percent of consumers that do not use lyrics are aged 55 and over.’

Citing the ways that streaming has changed the listener experience from being ‘a lean-back, linear experience’ into ‘something far more engaging and interactive’ it states: ‘Now, fans lean forward to choose the songs they want, build playlists, comment and share.

‘Lyrics are centre stage in this shift, transforming from static-print-hidden-away-inside-album sleeve notes, to a dynamic extension of the music itself.

‘Whereas lyrics in the analogue era used to be domain of music aficionados, in the streaming era they are a mainstream behaviour for audiences as diverse as they are widespread.’

Elsewhere, the study demonstrates the selling power of lyric features, with 55 percent of streaming lyric users saying they are more likely to pay for a streaming service that ‘has great lyrics features’.

It also found that there is ‘a strong link between lyrics and subscriber loyalty among 91 percent of all music subscribers who have been using lyrics for more than three years.’

The report’s key findings conclude: ‘Lyrics features will become an increasingly important differentiation point for streaming services as competition intensifies in 2018.’

The study follows an announcement from independent digital music distribution service DistroKid that it is now enabling artists to submit their lyrics into streaming apps – a service which it claims: ‘None of our competitors offer.’

Click here to see the full MIDiA report.