Streaming Music is Gaining on Traditional Radio Among Younger Music Listeners

Among music listeners between the ages of 13 and 35, Pandora has a significant lead in terms of streaming-music usage, according to The NPD Group.

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, April 2, 2013 – According to The NPD Group, a global information company, in fourth quarter (Q4) of 2012, Pandora and other subscription-based and free Internet radio services accounted for nearly one quarter (23 percent) of the average weekly music listening time among consumers between the ages of 13 and 35, an increase from a share of 17 percent the previous year.

As Internet-radio listening rose among this age group, listening to AM/FM radio, which now accounts for 24 percent of music-listening time, declined 2 percentage points. In the 36-and-older age group, by contrast, Internet radio accounted for just 13 percent of music listening, while AM/FM radio dominated listening methods with a 41 percent share.

“Driven by mobility and connectivity, music-streaming services are rapidly growing their share of the music listening experience for teens and young adults, at the expense of traditional music listening methods,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD.

As listening to music on mobile devices increases, "NPD’s Music Acquisition Monitor" also reported a decline in consumers listening to CDs and digital music files. In fact, more than half of Pandora and iHeartRadio users used their mobile phone to access those services. Roughly one in five Pandora or iHeartRadio users are also currently connecting to those services in their cars, which has in the past typically been the bastion of AM/FM radio listening.

Among music listeners between the ages of 13 and 35, Pandora has a significant lead in terms of usage:

Streaming Music Usage
(Age 13-35, Q412)
% Using
Pandora (free version) 39%
iHeartRadio 11%
Spotify (free version) 9%
Grooveshark 3%
Slacker 2%
Pandora One 2%
TuneIn 2%
Last.fm 2%
Xbox Music 2%

Six out of 10 consumers (62 percent) between the ages of 13 and 35 who used streaming services used these services more than they had in the past, and 51 percent reported that most of their music listening was in their cars.

“Whether it’s listening to AM/FM radio or Pandora, music continues to be an integral element in the American driving and commuting experience,” Crupnick said.

Data note: Information in this press release was derived from NPD’s “Music Acquisition Monitor,” based on data from 7,600 NPD consumer surveys. Survey data was weighted to represent U.S. population of Internet users (age 13 and older).


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