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Paid Audio Services Boom in U.S.

Edison Research says percentage of subscribers doubled in six years

Edison Research, Share of Ear, paid audio services, subscription audio services, audio listenershipPaid audio services have become a way of life for many Americans. Will more radio companies participate in the boom?

New data this week from Edison Research indicates that almost half — 47% — of us now subscribe to at least one such service. “This number is just over double what it was in 2015, when 23% had a paid subscription,” the company stated. It found that growth includes services like Spotify Premium, Apple Music, Pandora Premium or Plus, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Audible.

[Read: Survey Says Full Speed Ahead for Mobile Devices and Apps]

Edison President Larry Rosin expects to see more such offerings, “particularly from radio companies.”

“While much of this doubling of the numbers is the redirection of money that was going to physical music formats to music streaming subscriptions, there is also the trend of more people paying to avoid commercials,” he said.

He noted that the U.K.’s Bauer Media launched a subscription radio service that offers commercial-free versions of their radio brands. “I would think such efforts are likely to be launched in the U.S. as well.”