The number of US paid digital audio subscribers is rising faster than previously expected

The forecast: We project the number of paid digital audio subscribers in the US will hit 121.9 million this year, up 11% over 2020's total.

A deeper dive:

  • Our newest estimate for US paid audio listeners in 2021 has increased by 5 million since we originally published them in Q1, indicating more listeners will be subscribing to audio than previously projected.
  • Over 40% of US internet users will be paid audio subscribers by year end.
  • Spotify Premium subscribers make up the largest share of paid subscribers, at 36.7% this year. Apple Music listeners account for 30.3%, and YouTube Premium subscribers make up 19.4%. Pandora Premium patrons make up a significantly smaller slice of the subscription audio pie at just 5.4%.

Looking ahead: We project that, while the rate of growth will continue to slow, over 130 million people in the US will subscribe to paid audio in 2023.