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Amazon Music Overtakes Pandora as No. 2 in the US

Spotify still No. 1 by wide margin

February 24, 2022 (New York, NY) – Pandora, once the dominant player in terms of digital music streaming, will be eclipsed by Amazon Music this year in the US.  Established in 2000, Pandora was No. 1 by far for many years. But according to the latest digital audio forecast from Insider Intelligence, Pandora saw its share—and eventually its user base—decline over time as competitors entered the market.

By the end of 2022, Amazon Music will have 52.6 million users in the US, up 5.3% over last year. On the other hand, Pandora’s user base will decline by 6.7% to 49.1 million. Pandora has been steadily losing users since 2017, but its steepest decline occurred last year when it lost 11.0% of its US user base.

“For several years now, many Pandora listeners have been finding better content, experiences, and/or value from competitive services,” said Insider Intelligence senior forecasting analyst Peter Vahle. “Spotify has continually capitalized on the latest digital listening trends, which has made it a market leader in both Premium subscriptions and podcast content. Also, Amazon has leveraged its scale to offer a popular free music service in addition to its ad-free service.”

Spotify surpassed Pandora in 2019 to become the No. 1 music streaming service in the US. By the end of 2022, Spotify will have 89.2 million users, up 7.0%. This is the service’s first year of single-digit growth since Insider Intelligence began tracking growth in 2013.

“By being the one-stop shop for music and podcasts, Spotify has been able to steadily attract both ad-supported listeners and Premium subscribers. The company has also been able to generate strong network effects by integrating its service across the social media landscape, and by offering deeply discounted family plans. Combined, this has made Spotify the most popular destination for all things digital audio.”

At the bottom of the list is Apple Music, which does not offer an ad-supported free service. As a result, it has a lower ceiling than its competitors and will not gain significant share in the future.  Its US user base will grow 3.1% in 2022 to reach 38.2 million.

Overall listenership for digital audio services in the US will essentially be flat. In 2022, there will be 221.9 million digital audio listeners, up 1.3% over last year. By 2024, we expect the number of digital audio listeners to surpass two-thirds of the US population.


Forecasts and estimates from Insider Intelligence are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms, and public companies, as well as from interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers, and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends, and economic changes. 


About Insider Intelligence 

Insider Intelligence aims to be the world’s leading research service focused on digital transformation. Our mission is to empower professionals with the data, insights, and analysis to make grounded decisions in a digital world. Each year, we produce nearly 300 reports, 7,000 charts, 1,500 newsletters, and 200 forecasts across the industries of Advertising, Media, and Marketing; Financial Services; Healthcare; and Retail and Ecommerce. Insider Intelligence is owned by European media giant Axel Springer S.E. and was formed in 2020 from the combination of eMarketer and Business Insider Intelligence (BII). 


Posted on February 24, 2022.