Growth in Audio Streaming Signals Good News for Advertisers

A new report out from market research site eMarketer has some good news for advertisers who incorporate audio streaming service Spotify in its mix. The music streaming service has claimed the top spot among streaming services with 65.4 million U.S. listeners. That’s a nearly 26 percent growth rate, and Spotify has bumped out Pandora as the top music streaming service.

Pandora’s audience has been continually declining from high point in the mid-2010s, according to the report, and many of its ad-supported listeners are converting to paid ad-free subscribers. In comparison, Spotify is not only growing the total number of listeners, but growing both free and paid subscriptions. And while Pandora’s listenership is in decline, other music streaming offerings from Amazon also have posted a 27 percent growth in listeners.

Overall, that’s good news for advertisers who incorporate music streaming services in their ad mix, though not so much if Pandora is part of that. However, advertisers might not want to jump ship just yet. According to eMarketer analyst Peter Vahle, Pandora has more free, ad-supported listeners than Spotify, despite having fewer total listeners.

From our perspective, the best news for advertisers is that you don’t really need to choose one audio streaming platform over the other in order to reach their combined audience of well over 130 million; over 160 million if you include Amazon Music. In fact, by using a programmatic platform for purchasing inventory, we can target your key audiences on a granular level that’s entirely agnostic.

So while these two platforms (and others) compete to be the biggest, advertisers can reap the benefit of knowing that they can use them to reach the right audience at the right time across any digital platform. And with streaming services just as with other digital platforms, you can get both reach and precision—something all marketers should strive to achieve.

If you’d like to test out these services, we’re happy to help. Contact us to discuss how to incorporate experiments with audio streaming services into your media buys.


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