Civic Science

As Amazon and Google’s music streaming services continue to gain traction with their proprietary smart speakers, a new study explores how these two are impacting the leaders of the pack, Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music. In its poll of 2,000 U.S. consumers, CivicScience found that the latter three should be “at least a bit concerned.”

“In general, it looks like a toss-up. Amazon Echo devices are more common than Google Home devices, but Google Home owners are a bit more likely to want to try their corresponding music service,” CivicScience found. When users of the proprietary devices were asked “how likely are you to use” Amazon or Google’s “free, ad-supported music services on your smart speaker?” 40% of Amazon Echo owners said “very” or “somewhat” likely, while 35% said “not at all” likely. On the Google Home front, 45% responded “very” or “somewhat likely,” with 33% saying “not at all” likely.

According to the data, Apple Music users are the most likely to be interested in Amazon’s new service (32%), followed by Pandora users (18%) and Spotify users (16%). The study does note that with only 6.9 million paid subscribers, “Pandora is a bit of an afterthought when it comes to paying customers. But the company still retained 66 million monthly listeners overall as of Q1 2019.”

The study also notes that users can have accounts with multiple music services, although “the potential for straight-up poaching customers remains.” In fact, Spotify users are quite interested in Google’s new music service (35% interest, more than double Amazon’s rate). Google’s service more or less kept pace with Amazon’s among Apple Music listeners (28% interest) and Pandora listeners (18%).

CivicScience concludes, “If the plan for Amazon and Google is to reel in music lovers with a free service and then convert them from third-party music platforms to their own paid services, then the move seems likely to yield lucrative results.”

The research notes that Spotify currently has 217 million users worldwide, Apple Music 50 million and Pandora 66 million. When consumers were asked on the CivicScience website how many music streaming services they use, 43% said one, 36% answered two and 7% said three.