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70% of 12-34 year-olds in the US are using YouTube for music


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Edison Research and Triton Digital have published their latest ‘The Infinite Dial’ report, which provides an annual update on ‘digital media consumer behaviour’ in the US. There is plenty for the music industry to think about in the 2019 edition of the report, which is based on a telephone survey of 1,500 Americans over the age of 12, conducted in January and February this year.

Such as? The big figure is 189 million – that’s the number of Americans who listen to online-audio every month, according to the study. That’s 67% of the population, up from 64% a year ago. For 12-24 year-olds, the figure stands at 91%. And of those 189 million monthly listeners, 169 million are doing it weekly, which isn’t really a surprise, but is perhaps a better stat to bandy around.

When it comes to ‘audio brand awareness’ Pandora is comfortably the top dog: 89% of respondents were aware of it, ahead of iHeartRadio and Amazon Music (both 74%), Apple Music (73%) and Spotify (71%). Meanwhile, 22% said they’d actually listened to Pandora in the last week, ahead of 20% who’d listened to Spotify, 11% to Apple Music, 9% to Amazon Music and 8% to iHeartRadio.

But the most popular online music service of all? We rather spoiled this with our headline. 50% of respondents had used YouTube for music or music videos in the last week, up from 46% a year ago. For 12-34 year-olds, YouTube’s music penetration rises to 70% of the demographic. It’ll prove more fuel both for the music industry’s complaints about the ‘value gap’, and for YouTube’s argument that it’s reaching fans who might not pay for a streaming subscription.

There’s also some data on smart speakers, which the report claims are now owned by 23% of the US population – around 65 million people – up from 18% in early 2018. Amazon’s Echo is more than twice as popular than Google Home in terms of ownership, with Edison claiming that the Sonos One is also outgunning Apple’s HomePod. Multiple-device ownership continues to rise: 28% of American smart-speaker owners now have two, while 24% have three or more – up from 22% and 11% respectively a year ago.

Finally: podcasts. The study claims that 70% of the 12+ population are familiar with podcasting – that’s around 197 million people. Around 51% (144 million) have ever listened to a podcast; 32% (90 million) did it in the last month; and 22% (62 million) did it in the last week. That latter group averaged seven podcasts listened to in the last week. And one more stat to chew on: among Spotify listeners aged 12-24 in the US, 32% were monthly podcast listeners this time last year, but that figure now stands at 53%. You can peruse the full report here.

Stuart Dredge

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