Spotify Will Have More U.S. Users Than Pandora by 2022, Study Projects

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According to industry analyst firm eMarketer, Spotify is poised to surpass Pandora in the number of US-based active users by 2022.

We’ve closely tracking the race between Spotify and Apple Music, specifically over US-based paying subscribers.  But Pandora is also a serious heavyweight in the U.S., with a stunningly-large number of users in the country.

But Spotify is poised to overtake Pandora’s US-based user lead, at least according to a projection issued this morning.  According to calculations from eMarketer, Spotify is growing faster than its rival and will narrow the gap by 2021 before exceeding total US-based monthly active users in 2022.

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The data used in the above infographic is from internet users of any age who listened to either service at least once a month in the United States.  A quick glance at the numbers sees the Oakland-based Pandora actually losing monthly active users over time, with Spotify charting the opposite trajectory.

eMarketer’s vice president of forecasting, Martin Utreras, has a pretty good explanation for why Pandora’s growth will stall in the coming years.

According to Utreras, Pandora has only focused on converting its free subscribers to paid listeners, while their rival has introduced family plans, offline listening, integrations with services like Hulu, and partnerships with major hardware companies like Samsung.

Last week during Samsung’s Unpacked event, the South Korean mobile giant announced a new partnership with Spotify that will see its music streaming service become the default streaming service on all Samsung devices going forward.  This partnership will not only grow the Swedish streaming giant’s monthly active users and directly contributes to the 2022 prediction, but it also places the service leagues ahead of Pandora in user growth.

eMarketer’s predictions for the future of streaming make sense when you consider how the two companies have employed vastly different strategies concerning user growth.  Whereas Spotify was once a niche service available to only a select few countries, it has grown enough to become a significant contender to music streaming services offered by behemoth corporations like Amazon, Apple, and Google.



One Response

  1. W. Keating

    Apparently eMarketer hasn’t gotten the word yet that this is not your father’s Pandora anymore since SiriusXM invested a half billion dollars in it in return a 20 percent stake and three seats on the Board. The Chairman now is Gregg Maffei, the CEO of the legendary John Malone’s Liberty Media conglomerate.

    Pandora’s new CEO Lynch just announced Pandora’s second telco partnership within two weeks.

    “We are committed to creating exciting new opportunities for more people to find, share, and listen to the music they love. Through this exclusive offer, we will give T-Mobile’s massive customer-base access to one of our most in-demand offerings – Pandora Plus. This is just the first step in a larger strategic partnership between T-Mobile and Pandora. Expect to hear more.”

    To learn about the new Pandora, scroll down to the heading What Was Not Announced.

    As for Spotify, good luck competing against three of the wealthiest companies in the world, Amazon, Apple and Google in selling what have become commodity music packages.