Spotify has taken the crown as most popular music streaming app in the world on both iOS and Android devices, beating out its biggest challenger for the spot, Pandora. SoundCloud, meanwhile, has rocketed into the top four for users of both operating systems, whereas just a year ago, it didn't even rank in the top 10.
On both iOS and Android, Spotify came in at number one, with Pandora relegated to the number two position. Last year, Spotify held the number one spot on Android, but Pandora reigned supreme on iOS devices. While Pandora lost its spot on iOS to Spotify, it actually gained a notch on Android to surpass TuneIn Radio and reach the number two spot, up one notch from a year ago. Pandora is still only available in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, whereas Spotify is now in 58 markets.
The most remarkable gainer on the list, however, is SoundCloud. The streaming service was nowhere to be seen on the top 10 list for either Android or iOS devices a year ago but catapulted into the number three spot on iOS and ranked number four on Android.
Like Spotify, SoundCloud is an on-demand streaming service, and it is currently free for all users. Artists or their labels upload music to their SoundCloud accounts, which are organized by artist and streamed at the user's request. SoundCloud playlists are also available. The service is the streamer of choice for small independent artists and artists without label support, as well as the growing EDM (Electronic Dance Music) community, where most DJs use SoundCloud to debut their latest mixes.
The huge success of SoundCloud in the past year has also created some huge issues for the company, however, as major labels that aren't getting their piece of the pie are threatening the service, which has already been sued by a large music performing rights society in the UK. Sony Music has already removed tracks by many of its artists from the service, and the company has recently been removing songs and suspending accounts of artists it believes are violating copyright laws. This has resulted in a migration by many EDM artists to another similar streamer, Mixcloud, which may wind up in next year's top 10 if the trend continues.