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Car Still Dominates Music Listening

Smartphone audio consumption growing

Consumers choose music listening as their top form of entertainment and most of that occurs in the car.

That’s the gist of Nielsen’s latest Music 360 report, which indicates 93% of the country’s population listens to music, spending more than 25 hours each week tuning into their favorite tunes.

When surveyed about their activities in the past year, 75% of respondents said they actively chose to listen to music, even ahead of watching television at 73%.

Nearly a quarter of all music listening (23%) happens when we’re behind the wheel; and listening at work or when doing chores at home both account for around 15% of our weekly time spent with music. Following the car, listening to music in the office or at home came in second at 16%, followed by listening at home while completing chores and background listening.

Radio is the top platform for music consumption, as 59% of music listeners use a combination of over-the-air AM/FM or online radio streams to tune into their favorite artists and bands each week. Other favored platforms include consumers’ own music libraries (48%), on-demand streaming services such as Spotify, YouTube or Vevo (41%), and curated streaming music services such as Pandora or iTunes Radio (36%).

Smartphones are the third most-popular device used to listen to music behind radio and computers. More than 7 in 10 Americans now own a smartphone, according to the data, with 39% of smartphone owners buying music on their device in 2014. That’s up from 34% a year ago.