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The Infinite Dial: Pandora Down; Spotify, iHeartRadio, Apple Music Up

This is the third in a series looking at the recent Infinite Dial report.

Pandora may be the most listened-to online audio service in the last month, but Spotify, iHeartRadio and Apple Music are catching up. That’s the news from the Infinite Dial 2016; the latest consumer tech trend report put together by Edison Research and Triton Digital. It was compiled from 2001 randomly-surveyed people 12+ over; using calls made over cellular (48%) and landline (52%) phones, in both English and Spanish.

As expected, Pandora is online audio’s 800-pound gorilla with a 32% share of listeners 12+; namely those who tuned in over the last month (2016) as opposed to the total group surveyed. Spotify is second at 13%, while iHeartRadio and Apple Music are tied for third place at 12%. came in next at 9%; Amazon Music at 6%, Google Play All Access at 5%, and TuneIn Radio at 3%. This was the only category in the data set where the Infinite Dial 2016 reported more than the top four positions.

Among 12–24s who tuned into online audio in the last month in 2016, Pandora got 43%; Spotify 30%; Apple Music 22%; and iHeartRadio14%. In the 25–54s, Pandora is still number one at 39%. iHeartRadio is in second place with 15%; Spotify is only at 12% and Apple Music is at 11%. And in the 55 and up demo, Pandora has a 15% share, iHeartMedia is at 6%, Apple Music is at 5% and Spotify is at 2%.

Here is where it gets interesting. Based on the “last month” numbers, Pandora is down from 34% in 2015, while Spotify is up from 10% (2015). So are iHeartRadio and Apple Music; both coming in at 11% in 2015. For the record, Pandora was 31% in 2014 and 27% in 2013. Spotify was 6% (2014) and 4% (2013); iHeartRadio was 9% (2014) and 8% (2013), and Apple Music was 8% in 2014 (no data for 2013).

The Infinite Dial 2016 also has results based on last week listened to online audio, among those surveyed 12+, which shows a similar decline for Pandora from 2015 to 2016. The numbers are:

● Pandora: 25% (2016), 27% (2015), 22% (2014) and 20% (2013).
● Spotify: 10% (2016), 7% (2015), 4% (2014) and 3% (2013).
● iHeartRadio: 8% (2016), 7% (2015) 5% (2014 and 2013).
● Apple Music: 8% (2016), 7% (2015) and 5% (2014; no data for 2013).

A single year’s decline does not a trend make. Still, it will be fascinating to see if Pandora’s online audio share rebounds in 2017, or whether competitors such as Spotify, iHeartRadio and Apple Music are finally cutting into Pandora’s dominant position.

The full Infinite Dial 2016 report is via a PDF.