Social features of Spotify do not contribute to sustained usage

 In our study “Gratifications from using freemium music streaming services: Differences between basic and premium users” we identify four gratifications, namely enjoyment, ubiquity, discovery of new music and social connectivity pertinent to online music streaming services such as Spotify.

While online streaming has become one of the dominant ways to consume music, users’ motives have not thus far been exhaustively investigated. Since Spotify employs the freemium model, i.e. offers a free and a paid version of the service, we also examined to what extent these gratifications differ between the paying and non-paying users.

With a data collected from 374 Spotify users we also observe that premium users experience higher levels of enjoyment, ubiquity, discovery of new music, and continuance intention than the non-paying users.

The results also show that enjoyment, ubiquitous experience and discovering new music drive sustained usage intention in online music streaming.

Our results indicate that the social connectivity does not contribute to the continuance intention. This observation is interesting as online music service providers are investing in social features to make the music experience more social.

Our results also imply that Spotify has been able to create a premium offering that creates value-added for the users. The study contributes to the nascent research on the drivers of online music streaming and the literature on freemium model in digital content services.

The full paper can be found from my ResearchGate profile.

Bibliometric information

Mäntymäki, Matti & Islam, A.K.M. Najmul (2015) “Gratifications from using freemium music streaming services: Differences between basic and premium users” In proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS2105), Fort Worth, TX, December 13-15.