Spotify Now #1 US Streamer As Pandora Decline Continues
Pandora is no longer the most popular music streaming service in the US, with Spotify taking the No. 1 spot in 2019, according to eMarketer.
Pandora has been the most popular streaming service in the US since launching in 2000. Spotify listeners surpassed Pandora two years earlier than predicted in their March 2019 forecast.
In 2019, Spotify grew by 25.8% to 65.4 million US listeners. eMarketer defines listeners as internet users of any age who listen to Pandora or Spotify on any device at least once per month.
Spotify Growth, Pandora Decline Will Continue
Spotify will continue to grow in 2020, gaining more than 10 million new listeners, according to the survey, By the end of 2020, Spotify should reach 75.9 million US listeners.
By contrast, Pandora has been losing listeners since 2014. At the end of 2019, Pandora had 63.1 million listeners, down 8.1% over 2018. Although Pandora will remain the second-largest platform in terms of listeners through 2024, according to the survey, it will continue to see a listener decline throughout that time.
“In 2019, Pandora saw declines in ad-supported listeners and a slight increase in paid subscribers,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Peter Vahle Vahle. “This has a big impact since Pandora’s ad-supported audience, which is much larger than Spotify’s, currently makes up a vast majority of its listeners. We continue to see a growing appetite for ad-free music subscriptions, which gives Pandora an opportunity to convert its ad-supported audience to its ad-free services like Pandora Plus and Premium.”
Apple Music & Amazon Music
Apple and Amazon are also adding listeners.
Amazon Music had 38.7 million listeners in 2019, up 27.0%, which is slightly above Spotify’s 25.8% growth. “Much of Amazon Music’s growth can be attributed to the many music streaming options it offers—ad-supported, Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited and Amazon Music HD—in addition to the increasing popularity of its Echo smart speakers,” says eMarketer. In 2020, Amazon Music will grow 12.0% to reach 43.3 million listeners.
Apple Music is the smallest of these platforms because it operates on a subscription-only model with no free tier. Additionally, it is only available on iOS devices, which limits the number of potential listeners. In 2019, Apple Music had 33.7 million listeners, up 18.5% from the year prior. In 2020, listeners will grow another 10.0% to 37.1 million.