A new study from survey company Morning Consult, best known for its political opinion work, concentrates on audio platform preferences of American adults. The study questioned 2,000 respondents about their use of Spotify, Pandora, AM/FM, purchased music (CDs, downloads) iHeartRadio, Amazon Prime, Tidal, Apple Music, and Google Play.
Morning Consult shared raw survey results with RAIN News. Remarkably, this work lays out a stunning range of demographic, psychographic, and sociological breakdowns related to how Americans listen to audio. Gender and age breakouts are there, of course. Beyond that, we see political affiliation (also through gender lenses), education levels, income levels, ethnicity, religious alignment, employment levels, job types, social issue interest, voting disclosures for 2012 and 2016, and more.
Two-thousand Americans were surveyed online between December 6th and 8th.
At the top level, we can see use of each service in percentage terms. The survey question was “How often do you use each of the following?” Respondents were given eight choices, including “I do not use.” Across the whole survey population, here are the percentages of Americans who ever use the audio platforms (listed in the order presented by Morning Consult to RAIN):
- Spotify: 35%
- Pandora: 55%
- AM/FM: 88%
- Owned Music: 70%
- iHeartRadio: 37%
- Amazon Prime: 52%
- Tidal: 14%
- Apple Music: 31%
- Google Play: 51%
Within those broad results there are too many interesting statistical quirks to describe here. One example: Women don’t use Spotify or Tidal nearly as much as men do, and that disparity doesn’t exist in the other services.
Of more interest is the age-based trending. To put it simply, young people use online music service more than older age groups As Pandora is the most-used online service in this study, we’ll use it below to represent the trend:
- Pandora all users: 55% use / 12% more than once per day
- Pandora 18-29: 60% use / 20% more than once per day
- Pandora 55-64: 39% use / 4% more than once per day
In a complementary finding, older people listen to AM/FM more than younger age groups — but that demographic shaping is less pronounced, as radio’s reach remains strong:
- AM/FM all users: 88% use / 32% more than once per day
- AM/FM 18-29: 83% use / 27% more than once per day
- AM/FM 55-64: 87% use / 32% more than once per day
Finally, Morning Consult asked which platform “do you use most.” Here are those results:
- Spotify: 9%
- Pandora 17%
- AM/FM: 37%
- Owned Music: 15%
- iHeartRadio: 4%
- Amazon Prime: 5%
- Tidal: statistically zero
- Apple Music: 3%
- Google Play 4%