eMarketer claims Spotify US will overtake Pandora by 2021


Last August, research firm eMarketer predicted that Spotify would overtake Pandora to become the most popular (audio) music-streaming service in the US by 2022. Now that company has revised its prediction, in Spotify’s favour.

“According to our latest forecast on digital music listeners, Spotify will surpass Pandora in terms of users by 2021—one year sooner than we predicted last year,” it explained. eMarketer is now predicting that Pandora’s US listeners will decline from 72.4 million in 2019 to 72.2 million in 2021, while Spotify’s will grow from 65.3 million to 73.7 million in the same time period.

Meanwhile, eMarketer reckons that Amazon Music will have 35.8 million US listeners this year, ahead of Apple Music’s 33.4 million (interesting in itself, given reports last year that Apple Music had overtaken Spotify for paid subscribers – Amazon Music may also now be ahead of Spotify in the US by that metric).

“Pandora lost users last year because of tough competition from other services attracting people to switch,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Chris Bendtsen.

2021 might still be a somewhat conservative forecast: Music Ally recently saw some data from analytics service App Annie suggesting that Spotify is already neck and neck with Pandora for Android+iOS usage in the US. But we’d also advise caution with any figures predicting how Pandora will grow (or shrink) in the next few years: it’s only just been acquired by satellite-radio firm SiriusXM, which will be keen to try some new tactics to get Pandora’s listenership growing again.

Stuart Dredge

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