Apple Music Accounts for Just 2% of Music Streaming In the US…

Apple Music: Too Tiny to Matter?
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Pandora accounts for a massive 27% of music streaming time in the US.  Apple Music accounts for 2%.  Pandora is launching a new streaming service to more directly compete with Apple Music.  Any questions?

After launching their brand new Pandora Plus plan (replacing Pandora One), MusicWatch research has noted that Pandora is the leading share of weekly music streaming hours here in the States for the second quarter of 2016.   That simply dwarfs Apple Music: almost one-third, or nearly 30 percent of consumers, have spent time streaming music on Pandora, followed immediately by YouTube with 27 percent and Spotify at just around 18 percent.

For those who pay for “on-demand” music subscriptions, Spotify Premium took the lead, posting a 7 percent share, followed by only 2 percent for Apple Music.

Here’s an infograph breakdown provided by MusicWatch to DMN this morning (we’re awaiting a higher-res version):

Strangely, Apple Music seems to be getting 27% of the attention in the media, while Pandora is getting 2%.  And, you can partly blame publications like Digital Music News for that.  But the real story among American music listeners is a bit different, with Pandora entering the on-demand streaming space with some serious leverage.

Russ Crupnick, Managing partner of MusicWatch, pointed out that if Pandora can upsell people, Apple might be toast.  “Pandora’s strength in the market represents a major opportunity to migrate listeners to new tiers of services, including on-demand and revised lower-price offerings,” Crupnick told DMN.

Spotify is also dominating, but of course, Apple Music is on a serious incline.  For now: “At the same time Spotify is leading growth in the on-demand segment.  Although Spotify Premium has a lead over Apple Music it is important to keep in mind that Spotify had quite a head start, and many Apple users are still in the trial phase.”

MusicWatch used their Audiocensus tool, which is a monthly tracking study of net users here in the States aged 13 and above. The share of listening hours is based on the size of the audience for each service and the amount of time all users spent listening to said service in a standard week.

There’s no word yet on how Pandora’s new paid tier will affect upcoming results, but we’ll make sure to keep you updated on the news once we have it. Pandora has also confirmed that they’re working on their $9.99 tier to better compete with Apple Music and Spotify Premium.

17 Responses

  1. Tim F.

    This is complete nonsense, and it should be Digital Music News’s job to explain that. Pandora has zero power and are being diminished each day. It doesn’t matter if they are 27% of total streamed music time — Pandora is turned on in workplaces and then ignored in the background. It is a financial mess and has no power with music distributors.

    And are we still repeating nonsense about Apple’s trial period? A service that has been out for 15 months that offers a 3-month trial? For a brain cell’s sake, when will the writers hear realize that iOS and Mac users and anyone who wants to use Apple services since it is on Android can start or stop a trial at any point and there will likely always be a small percentage in the trial?

    And, no, Pandora has no chance of upselling. They’ve been in the market for 15 years and largely unchanged for more than a decade. Just because Pandora is turned on a lot does not mean that Pandora has any chance of converting free streaming radio players into paid subscribers to music streaming.

    It would be nice if there was someone at Digital Music News who had a single brain cell of thought about … you know, digital music.

    • Daniel Adrian Sanchez

      You base your assumption on what? Pure speculation. Pandora has just signed with several major music labels, including Merlin Network, which represents indies. Many of Digital Music News readers gladly prefer to use Pandora over Spotify. And having greater share Spotify is nothing to scoff at. To take your analogy, I believe the single brain cell of thought may have burned out after you article based on pure speculation, with absolutely no proof at all to back up your claims. May that brain cell rest in peace.

      • Tim F.

        My so-called “speculation” is reading Pandora’s financial reports.

        • Daniel Adrian Sanchez

          Once again, pure speculation. I’ll leave you the hard numbers here for you to check out on your own. Their last financial quarterly earnings prove that their subscription base number is solidly improving, which in turn backs up not “my” nor “DMN”‘s numbers, but those of MusicWatch. Check it out for yourself:

          But if you’ve been a longtime reader (or at least for the past month or so), you’ll find hardly any streaming music service has been profitable. Why? The main reason is the licensing deals. So as I said earlier, your argument against Pandora is not based on actual thought, but rather a bias against the company. Otherwise, your argument would’ve been grounded on something solid. As I said, that brain cell earlier is taking a good long nap, and won’t be coming back in the foreseeable future.

          • Tim F.

            That makes no sense. I know the subscriber numbers. I know the financials. You can’t wave away the financials by saying it’s not their fault, it’s the fault of their business strategy, no, not the strategy, the BUSINESS they are in.

            They have little and diminishing impact in the industry and are unlikely to exist in 2020.

    • Ned T

      Disagree. I think price point is a huge factor, and $5 is just right to train people (over time) to pay for streaming. What happened 15 years ago is irrelevant.

      • Tim F.

        $5 is for Pandora One which is the radio streaming service without adds. It’s existed for 12 years and accounts for 3% and is not the 27% that Daniel is drooling over.

        Their on-demand streaming service will be $10 a month and has been delated. *Sad trombone*

  2. Tim F.

    Would have been nice to at least mention that Pandora One only gets 3% of “stream time” after more than a decade while Apple (not that they are relevant to me but they seem relevant to you) has 2% after 15 months, no?

    • Paul Resnikoff

      I think a lot of people would disagree with your assumptions, Tim. For starters, a very large amount of Spotify listening is also background. And, who cares if it’s background? That’s actually the entire point of the Pandora model. Just ask Tim Westergren, he bet big on ‘lean-back’ and won as a result.

      • Tim F.

        This article is predicated on Pandora somehow converting it’s free streaming to paid subscriptions, somehow using that volume of lean-back listening into intentional purchasing. Pandora has had 15 years to do that.

        And what the *excuse my French* BLANK has Pandora “won”? A survey?7

        • Daniel Adrian Sanchez

          As I said earlier, this article isn’t based on that at all. It’s based solely on MusicWatch’s numbers. Now, about your 3% argument, well, it’s there, labeled as Pandora One in the infograph. But at no time did the article (nor MusicWatch’s) say that Pandora was the paid subscription leader. It has mentioned only Spotify Premium and Apple Music’s paid subscription numbers, not Pandora’s.

          • Tim F.

            I didn’t say you said they are the paid subscription leader. I said the article is about Pandora’s import based on streaming time. I am saying that is a useless metric for measuring impact to the industry and the fact that you argue that from this metric Pandora has substantial leverage demonstrates how useless it is. I’m saying that your argument that Pandora can be a major player by aping other services after failing to convert that 27% of a useless metric into 3% paid subscribers of that same useless metric over FIFTEEN YEARS is baseless and explains why no one is talking about Pandora anymore (except as a selloff target). I’m saying that what you think this story is about is not interesting, meaningless, wrong.

  3. Anonymous Too

    Tim F seems to be proving the theme of the article which I interpret as “a lot of people may be underestimating Pandora’s competitive position”.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      I’m not counting Pandora out, but why would you ? Their user base is massive, they have a strong position here. Who knows, they may ultimately become one of the top three ‘full stack’ music companies, and Tim Westergren is one of the most talented. Let’s see.

  4. r.p.

    just more DMN’s anti-spotify rhetoric.

    I remember when Paul bet that Spotify would disappear, years back. I even think I may have bet him on that, here..