Pandora accounted for 28% of weekly music-streaming listening in 2016, just ahead of YouTube’s 27% share. That’s according to research firm MusicWatch’s end-of-year analysis, which relies on combining listening on Pandora’s free and paid tiers (25% and 3% respectively).
Spotify took third place with 17% split between its free (10%) and premium (7%) tiers. “The three top services combine for 72 percent of streaming music hours.
Weekly music listening averaged just over 21 hours for 2016,” claimed MusicWatch. Its report claimed Apple Music had a 4% share of listening, equal to Amazon’s 4% but behind iHeartRadio’s 6%.
The report is one of the few such studies to combine on-demand streams with personal-radio listening. Its findings will offer encouragement to Pandora; stoke the value-gap debate around YouTube; and offer a reminder that while streaming subscriptions are growing well, a lot of listening still happens on free services.