Last week, Music Ally reported on the latest figures from US industry body the RIAA, including the fact that the number of paid music subscriptions in the US grew by 42% to 50.2 million in 2018. That was an annual-average figure, rather than a year-end figure.
Anyway, research firm MusicWatch has now published its own figures for last year, and they’re bigger: it reckons the number of Americans listening to a paid music subscription was more than 100 million. Contradiction? Nope: MusicWatch’s stats *are* year-end, and it is counting listeners rather than subscriptions – its number includes people on shared family plans, as well as those using a friend or family member’s account (‘subscription moochers’ was the term we learned for this recently), and those on free trials.
MusicWatch also estimates that there were 190 million Americans listening to music through free services by the end of 2018. The company also reckons that Spotify had a 39% share of paid-subscription music-listening in the US in the final quarter of 2018, ahead of Apple Music (17%), Amazon (16%) and Pandora (10%). Note, that’s share of listening for paid services, not share of the number of paid subscriptions – Apple was reported to have edged ahead of Spotify on the latter metric during 2018.