Music Business

Pandora Tops YouTube, Spotify In 2016 Music Listening, As Streaming Beats Radio For First Time

Number-1Pandora, YouTube and Spotify combined to capture 72% of all streaming music listening in 2016. And for the first time ever, enjoying music via streaming was more popular than listening to music on the radio, according to a new MusicWatch survey.



Pandora continued to be the most listened to music streamer in the U.S. in 2016 with a 28% share of music listening, just beating out YouTube with a 27% share. These new MusicWatch stats combine free/ad-supported versions with paid offerings

Spotify followed in third place with a 17% share. The three top services combine for 72% of streaming music hours with weekly music listening averaging just over 21 hours for 2016.

Apple Music, including free listening on Beats 1, garnered a 4% share, compared with Spotify Premium at 7%. Amazon grabbed a 4% share, mostly from Prime Music. With the recent introduction of  Amazon Music Unlimited and the success of its Echo devices, Amazon is expected to have a bigger impact in 2017.

Share of streamingStreaming Beats Radio

For music overall, streaming from dedicated music or music video services, including listening to or watching streamed videos, was the #1 option at 28%, followed by AM/FM radio at 24%. Ownership models including CDs, downloads and vinyl came in next at 23% combined. The streaming number does not include streams from social media services or artist websites, which would have further advantaged that listening format.

All listening

These statistics are based on monthly consumer surveys that analysts MusicWatch contracts from third party suppliers and are weighted and projected to the internet using population aged 13 and older.

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  1. Pandora, a service I gave up on years ago now gets to stream a station that’s barely different than most terrestrial stations?! What a major get for them!

  2. Mike you should try Pandora again, it gets better every year. I have made dozens of personalized stations with my favorite music – I have a station that plays Imagine Dragons, OAR and Coldplay that I listen to with my daughter, an 80’s New Wave station, my favorite Soul Jazz station, and separate Baroque era, Romantic Era, and Classical Guitar only stations. There aren’t any terrestrial radio stations that play music so well-tuned to my personal tastes and are commercial-free besides.

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