The Number of Americans Paying for Digital Audio is Expected to Grow by 11% This Year

October 1, 2021

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Industries | Media & Entertainment

eMarketer Paid Digital Audio Subscribers 2019 2023 Oct2021The share of US audio listeners who subscribe to paid digital audio services such as Spotify Premium and Apple Music is on the rise. Data from eMarketer estimates that paid audio subscriptions will increase by 11% this year.

eMarketer projects that by the end of this year there will be 121.9 million paid digital audio subscribers in the US. That’s an increase of more than 12 million subscribers over 2020, when subscriptions topped out at 109.6 million. The data projects that when 2021 comes to a close, more than 4 in 10 US internet users will have at least one paid audio subscription.

This growth is not too surprising considering other research from Comscore that shows that US households have spent more time streaming audio since the start of the pandemic. And, monetarily, data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) shows that streaming accounted for 83% of the total US recorded music industry revenues last year.

Growth in this arena is expected to continue over the next couple of years. eMarketer’s data shows that subscriptions are expected to reach 133.1 million by 2023.

Predicted to reach nearly 100 million monthly listeners by 2023, Spotify’s paid subscription service, Spotify Premium, accounts for the largest share (36.7%) of paid audio subscribers. Not too far behind Spotify Premium is Apple Music, which makes up 30.3% of paid subscriptions, while YouTube Premium accounts for 19.4%. In the meantime, although Pandora on a whole has been seen as having high brand awareness among online audio brands, its Premium service only accounts for a small (5.4%) share of paid subscribers.

About the Data: Findings are based on eMarketer estimates.

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