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Pandora Wins Music Streaming Wars (for 2016 anyway)

Pandora held on to the music streaming crown in 2016 with a 28 percent share of music listening. This gave Pandora a slim lead over YouTube, who came in with a 27 percent share. The statistics are based on monthly consumer surveys that MusicWatch contracts from third party suppliers and are weighted and projected to the internet using population aged 13 and older.  The Pandora and YouTube numbers combine the free or ad-supported versions and the paid offerings. Spotify followed in third place with a 17 percent share. The three top services combine for 72 percent of streaming music hours. Weekly music listening averaged just over 21 hours for 2016.

Apple Music, including free listening on Beats 1, garnered a 4 percent share, compared with Spotify Premium at 7 percent. With the recent introduction of Unlimited, and a successful holiday season selling Echo devices, Amazon is expected to have a big impact on the 2017 streaming landscape. For 2016, Amazon ended with a 4 percent share, mostly from Prime Music.

For music overall, streaming from dedicated music or music video services (including listening to or watching streamed videos) was the #1 option with a 28 share, followed by AM/FM radio at 24 percent. “Ownership” models including CDs, digital downloads and vinyl came in next at 23 percent combined. The streaming number does not include streams from social media services or artist websites, which would have further advantaged that listening format.

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Note: The following are combined: YouTube/YouTube Red; Google Play Music free and paid; Apple Music and Beats 1

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Note: Vinyl had a 1 percent share; net “Ownership” of CD, DDL and Vinyl sums to 23.0  percent