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You told us: Here's how you consume music

Most of you use music streaming services.

Published onNovember 6, 2023

Pictured is an iPhone 11 Pro running YouTube Music next to a Pixel 3 running Spotify.

How we consume music has undoubtedly changed over history, and certainly a lot during my lifetime. I remember my parent’s car had a cassette player we would listen to on the way to school. My first portable music player was a Discman, Sony’s portable CD player, which I used to listen to my favorite albums found in-store. Fast forward to when the first iPods came onto the scene, and carrying countless albums in your pocket was made possible thanks to MP3s. I would spend hours downloading the latest tracks on my computer (which I most definitely, 100% always legally purchased) and crafting unique playlists every week. But nowadays, I find myself logging into an app populated with playlists already pre-recommended by an algorithm based on my listening habits. The times, they are a-changing.

That’s just my music journey, though. We recently ran a poll on the SoundGuys YouTube page, asking how you consume your music. Here’s what you told us.


950 votes were cast across our website and YouTube channel as of writing, and it turns out that ~81% of you consume music using a streaming service. Perhaps that is unsurprising, given that most people use their smartphone as a music player, either to listen to music with wireless earbuds or headphones or to cast music to a Bluetooth speaker, and music streaming services have apps that are readily accessible. There is a trade-off to the convenience, however, in that none of us technically own our music anymore, and as one reader noted in the comments section, streaming entails a paid subscription to avoid ads.

In second place, with roughly 13% of the vote, was digital downloads, meaning people are forgoing streaming services and (hopefully) buying directly to download tracks onto a device such as a smartphone.

The small minority are the rest of our options, with CDs, Vinyl, and discontinued formats making up a collective 5%. We are a little surprised that so few of you listen to Vinyl, given its resurgence in popularity. Still, it’s good to see some support for physical media, even if it is very niche.

Two months ago, we ran a poll on our YouTube channel asking you which music streaming service you considered the best. With over one thousand responses, Spotify came out on top with 57% of the votes, followed by Apple Music with 25%. However, we didn’t include some other popular options, such as YouTube Music or Amazon Music, so perhaps it’s time we ask again.


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