Is Spotify Really a Threat to Pandora? - eMarketer

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Is Spotify Really a Threat to Pandora?

More than 51% of internet users listen to Pandora, compared with 14% for Spotify

January 7, 2015

Consumers are dancing to the beat of Pandora. In an RBC Capital Markets study conducted in November 2014, 51% of US internet users reported listening to music via Pandora—nearly double those who did so in December 2013. This put the music streaming platform in the top spot as it surpassed more traditional FM/AM radio as well as CDs.

Platforms Used for Music Listening by US Internet Users, Dec 2013 & Nov 2014 (% of respondents)

Usage of almost all other platforms flatlined or declined between December 2013 and November 2014. CDs saw the biggest drop in respondents, falling nearly 20 percentage points from 36% to 17%. Traditional FM/AM radio also had grim results as it dropped from 44% to 36% of respondents. Meanwhile, the iTunes music library and iTunes Radio, YouTube and satellite radio stayed put.

Results indicated one possible threat to Pandora: Spotify, which 14% of respondents said they used to listen to music—still small, but up from 6%. While this was around just one-quarter of Pandora’s audience, RBC pointed to some signs that Spotify could affect Pandora usage. For example, among the 18% of Pandora users who listened to Spotify as well, 65% preferred the latter.

Average Weekly Time Spent Listening to Pandora According to US Internet Users, Dec 2013 & Nov 2014 (% of respondents)

Nearly 80% of respondents who used both Spotify and Pandora said they were replacing time on Pandora with Spotify, and further results did find that average weekly time spent listening to Pandora had fallen. For example, US internet users were most likely to listen to Pandora for less than 1 hour a week, cited by 47% of respondents in November 2014, vs. 39% in December 2013. All higher frequencies fell or remained the same.

Still, eMarketer estimates that US adults spent more time daily with Pandora than all other digital radio in 2014, at 25 minutes vs. 14 minutes.

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