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The debate about whether or not Spotify is a threat to Pandora continues, but recent research suggests the latter still has a large lead. Several differences exist between the music streaming platforms’ audiences, including age, loyalty and listening frequency.
According to CivicScience polling conducted in April 2015, which focused on active users—those who used one of the streaming platforms “every day,” “a few times a week,” and “a few times a month”—Spotify’s audience skews much younger than Pandora’s. nearly two-thirds of US Spotify users were between the ages of 13 and 29, with 18- to 24-year-olds accounting for the largest share. In comparison, 45% of Pandora listeners were between 13 and 29, and 35- to 44-year-olds accounted for the largest share of users here.
No matter their age, Pandora listeners polled by CivicScience appeared to be much more loyal to the service than Spotify users. Nearly half (48%) of Spotify users used Pandora at least a few times a month, but just 17% of Pandora users said the same about Spotify.
Pandora listeners were also more frequent users. Nearly three in 10 used the service at least monthly, with about a third in that group using it every day. Meanwhile, just 11% of Spotify listeners turned up the volume on the platform at least a few times each month.
Pandora usage is still far more common than Spotify use. Edison Research and Triton Digital found in February 2015 that 27% of US consumers listened to Pandora, vs. 7% who used Spotify. And November 2014 research by RBC Capital Markets found that 51% of US internet users used Pandora, vs. 14% who used Spotify.
Overall, the music streaming industry is booming. In March 2015, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reported that US streaming music revenues increased about 29% last year to reach $1.87 billion, accounting for 27% of total industry revenues.
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