Report: Amazon Music is rivalling Spotify for US listeners


We retired the ‘dark horse’ metaphor for Amazon Music a few years ago. Even without official updates on how many listeners it has, the scale and growth of Amazon’s music streaming services is well understood. A recently published report by Activate Consulting, focusing on the US market, offers the latest insight.

The company interviewed 4,001 Americans about which free or paid music services they had used at least once in the last month, and according to the findings for music listeners, Amazon’s services are level-pegging with Spotify on 35% penetration. This includes listeners to Amazon’s bundled Prime Music service as well as its paid Music Unlimited tier, and both the free and premium tiers of Spotify.

The findings suggest Amazon Music has pulled away from Apple Music (which the survey suggests is used by 19% of US music listeners). Pandora scores 23% in the survey; SiriusXM 21%, iHeartRadio 15% and SoundCloud 10%, although the top-ranked platform – not the headline since it’s not a surprise – is YouTube and YouTube Music with 61%.

Is it a surprise to see Amazon Music potentially rivalling Spotify? This isn’t the first report to suggest it. In February 2022, Kantar claimed that Amazon had surged ahead in terms of the number of new subscribers being signed up in the UK, a trend that it later said had continued.

Activate’s report has some other interesting findings too. 17% of US music listeners are creating music themselves, for example, while 19% do not but are interested in creating music. The report also claims that 64% of US music listeners use multiple services a month, up from 43% in 2019. In fact, 40% use three or more.

Disconcertingly, the percentage of music listeners (this phrase is important: these percentages are of adults who spend any time listening to music, rather than the general population) saying they pay for a music subscription has fallen from 66% in 2021 to 65% in 2022.

TikTok’s music licensing team will enjoy this report: it offers a couple of slides of stats bolstering that app’s importance for music discovery. Activate claims that TikTok users (caveat: just the ones older than 18 in this survey) spend 2.1 times as much money on music and music services as non-user, and are 1.5 times more likely to attend concerts.

Written by: Stuart Dredge