J.D. Powers Finds Apple Music Customers Have Highest Customer Satisfaction

2 minute read
| Analysis

J.D. Powers found that Apple Music customers have the highest customer satisfaction ratings amongst streaming music services. In a report authored by Kirk Parsons, the firm attributed those results, in part, to the strength of Apple’s ecosystem.

Apple Music Extends the Ecosystem

Apple makes money from its services. Growth in services revenue was a bright spot in two most recent and otherwise lackluster quarters. But Apple CEO Tim Cook and his executive team have made it clear that services support the ecosystem and the hardware.

J.D. Powers Streaming Music Satisfaction Chart

Source: J.D. Powers

The J.D. Powers report suggests this strategy is working, and that the ecosystem makes Apple Music Customers more satisfied. It also makes them more satisfied with the ecosystem. It’s an ouroboros of happy, paying customers.

“Apple Music has the highest incidence of customers who say they selected their provider because it is part of their device ecosystem, and the brand’s phone and tablet customers have the highest levels of commitment,” the report argued. “Apple Music customers have the highest incidence of saying they ‘strongly agree’ that they are committed to their streaming provider (35%), and this incidence is highest by a considerable margin.”

This expertly highlights what J.D. Powers characterized as Apple’s “advantage” in offering a whole widget model married to a curated, walled garden. No other company on the planet can touch that advantage. That upstart Apple Music beat every pre-existing streaming service in satisfaction ratings is the proof in that pudding.

It should also give those who doubted (or continue to doubt) the wisdom of Apple’s purchase of Beats. Apple Music is clearly well positioned to help Apple sell more devices. These satisfaction numbers are meaningful.

Paying Customers are Happier

A non Apple-specific aside: one of the most fascinating aspects of this report is the news that paying customers are “significantly” happier with their streaming services than free users. J.D. Powers found that overall satisfaction for paying users was 825, while free users averaged 803.

Differences in Customer Service satisfaction were more pronounced. The report said they measured, “significantly higher among paid users (846) than among free users (772).” Communication satisfaction was also cited as “significant” at 800 for paid users and 752 for free users.

I suppose it stands to reason that people willing to pay for a service are more likely to be happy with that service. This could also be a general statement on the predisposition of people willing to pay for a service and those not willing to pay for their services.

There’s a PhD or two waiting to be earned studying that sort of thing.

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How does it compare to Spotify?