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Spotify, Pandora and AppleMusic Lead in Online Audio Brand Awareness

Research says weekly, online audio listening increased five percentage points

This story is part of a week-long series where author Tom Vernon breaks down the newly-released “Infinite Dial” report, which gives insights into various aspects of radio’s modern competitive environment and consumer consumption habits. 

After a 3-year plateau, both monthly and weekly online audio listening figures gathered by The Infinite Dial 2022 have shown a decisive uptick, both, according to the research, increasing by five percentage points. Since listening to AM/FM stations’ webstreams count as online listening, that’s another win for radio. 

While monthly numbers for the 12-34 demographic remain virtually unchanged for the past three years, the data suggests the 35 to 54 group is on fire, jumping nine points from 72 to 81 percent. Healthy gains were also reported for ages 55+, increasing from 46 to 52 percent.

The Infinite Dial 2022 report. Graph detailing monthly online audio listening by age group.

When it comes to brand awareness, research suggests that the big three are Spotify, with 82 percent aware of the brand, Pandora taking second place with 79 percent and AppleMusic third with 72 percent. 

These numbers suggest a small win for AppleMusic, which traded fourth place last year with iHeart Radio, which moved from third to fourth place this year. 

The Infinite Dial 2022 report. Graph detailing online audio brand awareness.

The results for brand awareness and brands most listened to seldom, if ever, line up exactly with the brands used most often. The leaders for both monthly and weekly most listened to are Spotify, YouTube Music and Pandora.

When asked which brands they use most often, respondents said Spotify, YouTube Music and Pandora. Trailing the pack were AppleMusic, AmazonMusic, iHeartRadio and Other.

The Infinite Dial 2022 report. Graph detailing the online audio brands used most often.

Smart speakers bring with them the opportunity for people to listen with others. For the second year, The Infinite Dial ranked frequency of listening to online audio with other people. As with 2021, this year’s figures suggest roughly a 50-50 split between those who report sharing the speaker frequently or sometimes with those who said hardly ever or never. It would appear unlikely that gathering around the smart speaker to listen to online audio will become a ‘thing’ anytime soon.

[Read the next in this five-part series: “Research Sees 2022 Podcast Weekly/Monthly Listening Decline”]