New data for Q2 indicates that Pandora currently by far accounts for the most streaming activity per week in the U.S., with a full 30 percent of streaming activity in the country coming from listeners to the streamer's free and paid tiers. Apple Music surprisingly comes in a distant last in streaming activity, tied with SoundCloud and Vevo, each of which accounts for a mere two percent.
Twenty-seven percent of Pandora's weekly streaming activity results from users of its free tier, recently estimated to have 78 million active listeners monthly. Its current paid tier, Pandora One, accounts for an additional three percent of weekly streams, indicating that the four million subscribers to the $5 per month service listen to it considerably more than their free subscription counterparts.
Spotify expectedly comes in second place, with a total of 18 percent of monthly music streaming activity attributed to the service. Eleven percent comes from free Spotify subscribers, while the remaining seven percent is from Spotify users on its paid tier, which costs $10 monthly. Spotify is the largest streaming service in the U.S. as far as monthly listeners are concerned, and it now surpass the 100 million mark, with a full 40 million of those now listening on the paid tier.
The most surprising result of the research data is the relatively low showing of Apple Music. The burgeoning streamer only accounts for two percent of streaming activity in the U.S., despite having amassed 17 million subscribers since its inception last year. That puts weekly streaming activity on Apple Music in line with that of competitors like SoundCloud and Vevo, and well behind iHeartRadio (five percent), Amazon Music (five percent) and even Google Play Music (three percent). None of those three services, all of which lead Apple Music in weekly streams, gets nearly as much media attention as Apple Music does.
What the poor showing for Apple Music means isn't completely clear, but it could indicate that many of its subscribers are Apple fans more so than they are serious music listeners, and have subscribed to the service mainly out of loyalty to the brand. That would account for why Pandora, which has less than five times as many subscribers as Apple Music, has a full 15 times more streams per month, despite the fact that the great majority of Pandora subscribers are not paying for access to the streamer, as all of Apple's are. That could bode well for Pandora's recent revamp of its paid Pandora One $5 service, now rebranded Pandora Plus, and even more so for the streamer's upcoming $10 monthly on demand subscription service that will take Apple Music and Spotify head-on.