Sunday, November 16, 2014

How Long Do We Listen To A Song?

Out of skips image
We now live in a world where it's really easy to skip a song that we're listening to if we're not satisfied. This is a revelation of sorts because it wasn't always that way on a personal level in the days of vinyl and even CDs, and of course it's still like that when it comes to radio. But in today's streaming world a new choice is only a click away to switch to something that's more to our liking. had a recent piece called "The Skip" that looked in depth at the current listening habits of Spotify users. Why Spotify? It has some of the best user data available, making it easy to extract some conclusions from billions of music plays. Here's what the post found:
  • We're almost as likely to skip to another song as we are to listen to it. 
24.14% skip within the first 5 seconds
28.97% skip within the first 10 seconds
35.05% skip within the first 30 seconds
48.6% skip before the song finishes!
  • The average listener skipped 14.65 times per hour.
  • Mobile users skip more - 51.1% versus 40.1% for desktop users.
  • People skip more in the morning before they start work. The less they concentrate on the music, the less they skip.
  • The skipping rate is higher on the weekends, when people have more spare time.
The takeaway is that a true listen to your music may be very elusive. What may be counted as a stream may only be someone passing through until they find something that they really like!


Agen Vimax Asli said...


Rand said...

Perhaps this is a telling comment on not only the ever-dwindling attention span de-evolution of people today (too much information = not enough time to digest it all, etc.) but most music today isn't worth listening to either.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I didn't make it to the end of

Steve Greenberg said...

I don't think people were necessarily more disciplined in the past, the gear just made it more annoying to skip- move a needler, turn over a record, fast forwarding a cassette, or even walking up to the CD player to hit next. Now it's almost like a fidgeting response, you just click because its at your fingertip

In my experience, it takes 3-4 good listens to any given music recording to really know whether you like it. Things you like right away are more superficial, things that take a bit of time to grow on you end up being the most meaningful and inspirational.

I struggle with this and have to fight the reflex to skip and I am a person that cares and tries, the average person has nothing to help guide them in how to listen to music in this age of distractions

Andrew Pfaff said...

I skip a lot of stuff too. As a songwriter and producer this is valuable insight. If you arrange your song to have a boring, long intro, I am likely to skip it. And this goes for all good music. Bach's B Minor Mass is captivating from note 1.
As a musician, my job is not to complain that you are not listening. It is to compel you to listen. And since you might skip my track in 5 seconds I have no time to waste.

Andrew Pfaff said...

At least when I'm first trying to get attention -- once I have a fan base they might be more patient with me and let me experiment more.


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