Here is some fascinating data about song-skipping patterns from Spotify users:
- Nearly a quarter of all songs on Spotify get skipped within five seconds of starting.
- More than a third are skipped within 30 seconds.
- Nearly half of all songs are skipped at some point…
Lamere then broke this down into the last-second-listened frequency. If you’ve made it past the 12th second, you have demonstrated amazing commitment…
“When we are more engaged with our music – we skip more, and when music is in the background such as when we are working or relaxing, we skip less. When we have more free time, such as when we are young, or on the weekends, or home after a day of work, we skip more. That’s when we have more time to pay attention to our music. The big surprise for me is how often we skip. On average, we skip nearly every other song that we play.”
One interpretation: people simply don’t take much time to decide whether they like a song or not. Those opening seconds are crucial.
A second interpretation: another example of shorter attention spans today. Quickly moving through songs, scanning Internet headlines and viral videos, always have to be entertained…
A third interpretation: services like Spotify make skipping easier. Spotify has over 20 million songs and it is easy to just move on to another track.
A question: It would be interesting, however, to see if people consistently skip the same songs when presented with them – how much of this is dependent on their immediate context versus a skip representing a longer-term dislike for the song? Or, if people had to listen to a song for a longer period of time – like it was playing in a store they were shopping in – would they come to like it?