Why Spotify could be bigger than Pandora in the U.S. in less than 5 years

By Melissa Locker

August 14, 2018

It might be a good time to buy some Spotify stock. eMarketer thinks the streaming music giant will have more U.S. users than that other streaming music giant, Pandora, by 2022.

According to new research from the firm, Pandora’s user base of some 75.9 million U.S. music fans will decline slightly throughout the forecast period, while Spotify’s 58.4 million users will see double-digit growth this year and next. Come 2022, eMarketer believes Pandora’s user base will dip to a still robust 75.3 million users, while Spotify’s will swell to 76.7 million barely eking out the title of top music streamer in the U.S. (no trophy, though).

Pandora’s focus on converting free listeners to subscribers, coupled with much stiffer competition, will keep their overall reach from growing,” Martín Utreras, eMarketer’s vice president of forecasting, said in a press release. “Meanwhile, Spotify has benefited from being first to market with family plans, offline listening, integrations with other services like Hulu and effective social sharing tools, which have left Pandora to play catch-up.” It’s all part of Spotify’s plan for global domination.

eMarketer came to this conclusion by analyzing quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms, and public companies, and by interviewing publishers, ad buyers, and agencies—all of whom undoubtedly said something like “Pandora who?”


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