Survey predicts that at-home listening will be led by speakers during quarantining

Futuresource Consulting released a report with an outlook on how the coronavirus pandemic might impact music streaming. Given the uncertainty around how COVID-19 may continue to impact both individual listening habits and broader national economies, any sort of projections should be read with several grains of salt. But a surveys and forecasts can still help companies make their best guesses about where listening trends will go.

Its survey found that even though music consumption has changed due to stay-at-home orders, subscription uptake does not appear to have seen adverse effects. The company anticipates that music streaming subscriptions will reach 371 million globally by the end of 2020, up 19% from the previous year.

The report said it anticipated that the share of listening hours by hardware would see the more dramatic changes as a result of the lockdowns. In Futuresource’s Audio Tech Lifestyles consumer survey, 37% of respondents in the U.S., UK, and Germany said speakers were the most-used device for listening to music at home, compared with 11% who said headphones. That leading device segment included voice-activated speakers and smart speakers.

Based on those results, Futuresource projected that streaming services that have secured extensive partnerships with home-audio manufacturers may have a leg up in the coming months.

Anna Washenko