It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Spotify is the the top streamer in the United States, but for the longest time Pandora came in at #2. That ranking looks like it will change by the end of 2022 as Amazon Music is coming on strong and will overtake Pandora for #2 in the U.S. streaming market by the end of the year, according to a new study by Insider Intelligence.
If the numbers hold true, by the end of year Amazon Music will have 52.6 million U.S. users, which will be an increase of 5.3% over last year. Pandora’s user base is going in the opposite direction though, decreasing this year by 6.7% to 49.1 million. Pandora has been steadily losing US users every year year since 2017 as users switch to on-demand offerings by the other streaming services.
What’s particularly interesting here is that Apple Music is #4 on the list, with an estimated user base of just 38.2 million by the end of the year. The reason why it trails the other services is that it doesn’t offer a free ad-supported tier to entice new users to the platform. As a result, its user ceiling and growth is lower than the others.
Add all the numbers up and you have a 229 million subscribers just in the U.S. streaming market. Considering that there are only 258 million adults according the latest census, and you can see why there’s not much room for additional growth. There are 331 million people in the U.S., so that means that about 2/3rds already subscribe to a music streaming service.
The overall streaming pie may still be growing, but the U.S. won’t be contributing much to it in the future.