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Nearly half of all Americans pay for some digital music streaming service, Edison survey reveals

A new study from Edison Research has found that almost half of all Americans have at least one paid subscription to an online music platform. That refers specifically to streaming platforms Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio Plus, and Amazon’s Audible audiobook platform. The exact number is 47 percent of people age 13 and up residing in the United States as of 2021. That number is up from 2015 when Edison concluded 23 percent had a paid subscription of some sort.

Data from Edison Research’s Share of Ear®

There are many factors contributing to this growth. First, the study emphasizes the statistic are based on a measure of people’s responses, not a measure of subscriptions: “If two people share a log-in or an account, that’s one subscription; but two people who would say ‘yes’ to subscribing.”

One of the largest factors in the spike is because of the money that once went to purchasing CDs and other physical music products now goes to paid music subscriptions.

“While much of this doubling of the numbers is the redirection of money that was going to physical music formats to music streaming subscriptions, there is also the trend of more people paying to avoid commercials. I have to believe that we will see more subscription efforts in the future, particularly from radio companies.”

– Larry Rosin, Edison Research president

While predicting the future is always wraught with uncertainties, it feels like only a matter of time before this number of paid subscriptions surpasses 50 percent of all Americans age 13 and older.

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