MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a data point that deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is supported by Cinq Music Group, a technology-driven record label, distribution, and rights management company.
The topic of superfans has been coming up quite regularly on MBW’s pages over the past few weeks.
US market monitor Luminate, for example, recently published a set of stats highlighting the relationship between artists and superfans in the United States.
Those stats, published with Luminate’s mid-year music report (which you can read in full here), show that 15% of the general population in the US are ‘superfans’ ,and this category of fan spends a reported 80% more on music each month versus the average US-based music listener.
Additionally, according to Luminate, physical music buyers of formats such as vinyl, CDs or cassette tapes, are more than twice as likely (+128%) to be music superfans.
Luminate breaks down what it means to be a superfan, explaining that for its report, its methodology defines a superfan as, “a music listener aged 13+ who engages with an artist and their content in multiple ways, from streaming to social media to purchasing physical music or merch items to attending live shows”.
Luminate’s report followed comments made by Michael Nash, UMG’s EVP and Chief Digital Officer, on UMG’s Q1 earnings call, when he indicated that an “artist-centric” model would look to increase revenue flow from “superfans” – or in other words, individuals who are willing to pay more for subscriptions in exchange for additional content.
The potential financial impact of the superfan category was also recently highlighted by Goldman Sachs, in its latest Music In The Air report, in which it claimed that if 20% of paid streaming subscribers today could be categorized as ‘superfans’ and, furthermore, if these ‘superfans’ were willing to spend double what a non-superfan spends on digital music each year, it implies a $4.2 billion (currently untapped) annual revenue opportunity for the record industry.
Now, Spotify has published its own study on what it calls ‘super listeners’.
These are listeners, according to Spotify, who “are die-hard, listen-on-repeat, buy-up-all-your-merch fans”, or in other words, superfans.
According to Spotify’s new study, averaged across all artist sizes, ‘super listeners’ on the platform make up 2% of an artist’s monthly listeners, but account for over 18% of monthly streams.
Spotify defines monthly listeners as all listeners that have at least 1 stream over 30 seconds of an artist in the past 28 days. These stats are based on streaming data on the platform between February 15 and March 15.
Spotify also indicates that so-called super listeners make “an XL number” of merch purchases.
According to the study, on average, 2% of an artist’s monthly listeners account for more than half of their merch purchases.
That stat, according to Spotify, is based on multiple seven-day windows of purchasing behavior on the Spotify platform in 2023 for artists with over 10,000 monthly listeners at any point in 2022 and at least 10 tracks as of January 1, of this year (see below).
Spotify also breaks down its ‘Super listener’ study geographically, reporting that Latin America includes four of the Top 10 markets with the highest concentration of super listeners, including the No.1 and No.2 spots, which are Chile and Mexico, respectively.
Round out the Top 10 in positions No.3 to No.10, respectively, are: Canada, Hong Kong, the United States, Argentina, Columbia, Japan, Poland, and the Philippines.
Spotify says that this was based on the behavior of super listeners of at least one artist among the platform’s Top 50 markets by the size of userbase as of March 1, 2023, for artists with over 10,000 monthly listeners at any point in 2022 and at least 10 tracks as of Janaury 1, 2023.
Spotify has published its Fan Study: the Super Listeners edition, to coincide with the launch of a new ‘super listeners’ audience segment on the Spotify for Artists platform, which is used by over 1 million artists and labels.
In addition to monthly listener and stream counts, artists and their teams using the analytics and marketing platform will now have access to data on ‘super, moderate, light, programmed, and previously active listeners’.
“These new Fan Study insights dive into super listeners – a crucial part of an artist’s audience – who power artists’ careers by driving more streams, buying more merch, and engaging more deeply with artists over the long term.”
Rob Fink, Spotify for Artists
“Earlier this month, we launched the new Segments dashboard in Spotify for Artists, allowing artists and their teams to better understand who makes up their audience, how often they’re listening, and how they’re streaming,” said Rob Fink, Associate Director of Brand Marketing for Spotify for Artists.
“These new Fan Study insights dive into super listeners – a crucial part of an artist’s audience – who power artists’ careers by driving more streams, buying more merch, and engaging more deeply with artists over the long term.
“By sharing insights into listener behavior on Spotify, our goal is to arm artists and their teams with data, strategies, and tools to better understand, grow, and engage their audience on our platform.”
Cinq Music Group’s repertoire has won Grammy awards, dozens of Gold and Platinum RIAA certifications, and numerous No.1 chart positions on a variety of Billboard charts. Its repertoire includes heavyweights such as Bad Bunny, Janet Jackson, Daddy Yankee, T.I., Sean Kingston, Anuel, and hundreds more.
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