More Than Three-Fourths of US Internet Users Are Now Streaming Music, Says Study

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But there's still ample room to grow paid subscribers, according to MusicWatch's audiocensus Q2 2019 report on U.S. music consumption and listening habits.

More than three fourths of the American internet-using population over the age of 13 is now streaming music. That's according to MusicWatch's audiocensus Q2 2019 report on U.S. music consumption and listening habits, shared exclusively with Billboard in advance of its publication. 

MusicWatch calculated 183 million Americans over the age of 13, or 77% of the U.S. internet-using population, are now streaming. That marks a 14% increase since the same time last year. Of those users, the report estimates 125 million are using paid music streaming subscription services. And while only 68 million of those subscription streamers are personally paying, that represents a 21% increase from 56 million just six months prior. 

As for which streaming services are getting use, YouTube leads with a 30% share of weekly music listening, according to the study, followed by Spotify at 24% and Pandora at 17%. Apple and Amazon's music services each account for 6%. Even though those both have seen strong subscriber growth, MusicWatch found Spotify listeners spend much more time on the platform, driving its higher share of listenership. 

When it comes to paid services, Spotify Premium accounts for 39% of weekly listening, having grown its total year-over-year. Apple and Amazon followed with 17% each.

Analyzing listening habits, streaming is the most popular form of music consumption, dominating with 39% of weekly listening hours. Broadcast AM/FM radio follows in second place with just 16% -- a notable shift from three years ago when streaming and radio were neck and neck. Meanwhile, digital downloads amount to 10% of listening hours, CDs at 7%, SiriusXM at 8% and music on social media and music video TV each total 6%. Vinyl records account for just 2% of total listening hours.

The report also found that the population of Americans using smart speakers is primed to hit 100 million this year, with 40% of the internet population over the age of 13 claiming to use the devices. 


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