We recently learned from the RIAA that there were 75.5 million Americans subscribing to music streaming services in 2020 – an average figure across the year. Now research firm MusicWatch has put out some data on the number of Americans who were using these services: not just subscribers, but free listeners too.

“A record 209 million internet users aged 13 or older experienced music streaming,” claimed its report, noting that this is more than double the 99 million figure a decade ago in 2011. Those 209 million people represent 86% of the US internet-using population aged 13 and older.

We do seem to be reaching a ceiling of sorts though: 209 million people is only five million more than in 2019: year-on-year growth of 2.5%. Beware of cross-referencing the RIAA and MusicWatch figures though: it might seem that 75.5 million subscribers and 209 million users means 36% of those people are paying for their streaming. However, the RIAA’s stat did not include subscribers to ‘limited tier’ services like Pandora Plus and Amazon Prime Music, and it counted multi-user plans (e.g. family plans) as single subscriptions.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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