What Devices Are Most Popular for Streaming Music?

With CES just around the corner, companies such as LG are already beginning to unveil their new AI standalone speaker devices, and Apple is expected to release its Siri-assisted HomePod in early 2018. As the platforms available for streaming music continue to increase and with YouTube’s new streaming service set to launch in March, the cross-device use of music apps increases as well. This week, we took a look at some of the most popular music streaming services in the U.S. (among adults, ages 18+) and which devices consumers use for streaming music.

One of the most interesting characteristics of music streaming apps is the way usage and reach differs by device. Where people listen to music is particularly key to understanding when and how to target audiences using these services.

While the rankings for the most popular streaming services are relatively consistent across devices, there are some significant differences in user numbers based on device usage. YouTube, while not typically categorized as a music streaming provider, is the top-ranking service for both PCs and smartphones/tablets, with 125 million users on PC and 116 million users on smartphone/tablets during November 2017 among U.S. adults aged 18 and above. Spotify ranks second based on its 23.2 million PC users, but it falls to fourth place based on its smartphone/tablet user numbers. Pandora Radio, by comparison, lags behind as a PC app, but ranks ahead of Spotify with 32.8 smartphone and tablet users (among U.S. adults aged 18 and above).

Our numbers also show that there’s a distinct advantage to owning an entire device ecosystem: Apple Music, which is pre-installed on every iPhone and iPad, claims an impressive 45 million U.S. adult users on smartphones and tablets.  And despite the popularity of its Echo smart speakers, Amazon Prime Music seems to have the lowest adoption rate, especially on PCs where it has less than 1 million users and 11.5 million users on smartphones and tablets. In general, more users use music streaming apps on their smartphones and tablets than they do on PC, with mobile apps having a 66.1% reach and PC 58.5%.

Going beyond the rankings, knowing which device consumers use to access your apps (and your competitors’ apps) is key to targeting new users and giving your existing ones a better user experience. But the analysis doesn’t stop there. Researching daily engagement patterns and building a profile of the music streaming audience at large can ultimately eliminate guesswork and validate your assumptions.

This Chart of the Week was brought to you by Verto Watch which offers app, website, and consumer behavior on demand–24/7. Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter to get Verto insights delivered to your inbox.