Larry Rosin: Room for Tidal? What’s one more online audio brand?

larry rosin contributor logo canvasThis guest column is contributed by Larry Rosin, President of Edison Research. It was first published on The Infinite Dial blog.

This past week saw the launch of the latest entrant to the streaming audio space, Tidal from Jay-Z. The media coverage was all over the place, but a lot centered on if there is room for another player in the space.

We have been tracking online audio in our Infinite Dial studies since 1998. It’s amazing┬áto consider that this space has gone from “What does listening to audio on the Internet even mean?” to “Is it over-crowded?” in that span.

In our 2015 study we asked about awareness of 17 different online audio brands. The full list of brands can be found on page 19 of our Infinite Dial report if you click here.

What struck me was just how many brands people did say they knew. As the graph below shows — 85% of respondents knew at least one online brand (and if it was only one — that brand was usually Pandora). On average, people knew 4.7 brands. The peak age group is 18-24 year-olds, who know 6.1 brands on average. Exactly one respondent out of our 2,000-person national sample knew all 17 brand names.

larry rosin - awareness of brand names

So, is there room for Tidal? Who knows. But there’s clearly room for a lot of brands so far in this space. As it continues to change and inevitably shake out — Edison and Triton will continue to track it.

Larry Rosin