This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the US streaming audio market including streaming audio market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the streaming audio market in the US.

Current market landscape

Streaming audio has become the standard for audio entertainment, as adults are more than twice as likely to listen to a streaming audio service as they are to traditional radio. Listeners have gotten used to having the entire history of music and other audio entertainment at their fingertips. A never-ending stream of choices is the standard, but two thirds of customers still want some help with choosing what to listen to via curated content.

Market share and key industry trends

  • More than three quarters of adults regularly listen to streaming audio. Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music show the greatest promise in dominating the space, leaving smaller services less room to grow. Older adults are comfortable with the curation and discovery of traditional radio, keeping it alive, as well as radio-adjacent digital services like Pandora.
  • More than one third of streaming audio listeners want early and exclusive content to be a part of their ideal service, with young women driving the desire to connect through early adoption. The next step would be to create online and offline experiences to connect fans with creators driven by the streaming audio platforms themselves (see Ideal Streaming Audio Features).

Future market trends in streaming audio

Exclusivity and early access to new music, podcasts and audiobooks can help differentiate services in a landscape that is dominated by a few key players. Without any revolutionary features setting them apart, smaller services will have a difficult time competing. Putting artist support front and center could help though, as 62% of adults try to support services that fairly compensate artists and creators.

Read on to discover more about the streaming audio consumer market, read our US Streaming Video Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other Leisure Time research reports.

Quickly understand

  • Market and forecast of consumer spending on streaming audio and radio (including satellite radio).
  • Features that differentiate key players in streaming audio.
  • What makes a paid streaming audio service worth the price and optimal price point.
  • The role of podcasts, social media and other non-music factors in the streaming audio space.

Covered in this US streaming audio market report

Brands include: Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon, iHeart, Google Play, SoundCloud, Tidal, Deezer, ByteDance, TikTok Music, Verizon One, T-Mobile, Soundliz, Wondery, Qobuz.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the US streaming audio market field

This report, written by John Poelking, a leading analyst in the Gaming sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis on US streaming audio market research to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Listeners keep tuning in to streaming audio, particularly now that the term ‘tuning in’ itself is becoming less and less relevant. Streaming audio services have grown consistently with a few key players dominating the space. Most adults pay for ad-free listening, but there are still key opportunities for brands to reach listeners on ad-supported tiers, particularly by putting the artists and content creators at the forefront to signal support of creativity over profits.

John Poelking, Senior Analyst, Gaming
John Poelking
Research Manager – Tech, Media, and Telecom

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US consumer expenditures and fanchart forecast for streaming audio, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 2: Streaming audio outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • A few key players will likely dominate streaming audio
      • Figure 3: Audio entertainment services used, 2022
    • Half of adults pay for the privilege to play
      • Figure 4: Subscription to a streaming audio service, by key demographics, 2022
    • The balance between choice and curation
      • Figure 5: Attitudes toward choice in streaming audio, 2022
    • Support services that support artists to create a community
      • Figure 6: Attitudes toward fair compensation and sharing accounts, 2022
    • The podcasts keep coming
      • Figure 7: Reasons to listen to podcasts, 2022
    • Key consumer insights
  3. Market Size and Forecast

    • Spending growth on audio to slow amid market saturation
      • Figure 8: Total US consumer expenditures and fanchart forecast for streaming audio, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 9: Total US consumer expenditures and forecast for streaming audio, at current prices, 2017-27
  4. Market Factors

    • Inflation could curb household spend on streaming audio
      • Figure 10: Average annual household spending on streaming audio, 2017-22
    • Streaming audio advertising is on the rise
      • Figure 11: Digital audio advertising revenue, 2020 and 2021
    • A hybrid work environment creates more opportunities to engage listeners
      • Figure 12: Work from home status, 2020 vs 2022
    • Podcasting revenue is growing exponentially
    • Social media platforms explore streaming audio as part of their entertainment offering
  5. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Real time audio creates opportunities to connect a listening community
    • Audio services partner with telecom providers for wider reach
      • Figure 13: Verizon One Unlimited email, “Pair your new iPhone with our exclusive plan that includes Apple One,” 2022
    • Flexible subscription plans bring in the whole family
    • Exclusive deals with podcast companies bring awareness to services
    • Convenience keeps people from spreading across services
    • Listeners care about artists’ rights
  6. The Streaming Audio Consumer – Fast Facts

    • Streaming audio is dominant but has not killed radio
    • Exclusivity and early access matter
    • Curated content cuts through clutter
    • Half of adults pay for some streaming service
    • Uninterrupted service that supports content creators helps convince people to invest in streaming audio
    • The commute remains key
    • Podcasting is an essential part of the streaming audio landscape
  7. Audio Entertainment Services Used

    • Streaming audio is twice as popular as traditional radio but the field is getting smaller
      • Figure 14: Audio entertainment services used, 2022
    • One third of adults only listens to one source for their audio entertainment
      • Figure 15: Number of audio entertainment services used, 2022
    • Older adults overindex for radio listening, but still do it less than streaming
      • Figure 16: Streaming audio vs traditional radio, by age, 2022
    • Middle-aged adults favor streamers with the qualities of radio personalities
      • Figure 17: Streaming audio used, by age, 2022
  8. Ideal Streaming Audio Features

    • Streamers seek out new and exclusive content
      • Figure 18: Ideal features of a streaming audio service, 2022
    • Young women want everything now
      • Figure 19: Ideal features of a streaming audio service, by age and gender, 2022
    • Out-of-home experiences can foster community in urban areas
      • Figure 20: Ideal features of a streaming audio service, by area of living, 2022
  9. Attitudes toward Choice in Streaming Audio

    • Options are a necessity, while recommendations are welcome
      • Figure 21: Attitudes toward choice in streaming audio, 2022
    • Older Millennials want to be catered to
      • Figure 22: Attitudes toward choice and convenience in streaming audio, by generation, 2022
    • Families with younger kids can share the music
      • Figure 23: Attitudes toward choice and convenience in streaming audio, by age of children in the household, 2022
  10. Paid Streaming Audio Services

    • More than half of US adults pay for a streaming audio service
      • Figure 24: Subscription to a streaming audio service, by key demographics, 2022
    • Big players soak up the bulk of subscription revenue
      • Figure 25: Paid streaming audio services used, 2022
  11. What Makes Paid Streaming Audio Worth the Cost

    • Accessible easy listening stands out when investing in streaming audio
      • Figure 26: Ideal perks of a paid audio service, 2022
    • Large uninterrupted catalogues matter to young women
      • Figure 27: Ideal perks of a paid audio service, by age and gender, 2022
    • The “ideal” streaming audio service would ideally cost $14 a month
      • Figure 28: Price sensitivity – Optimal price, 2022
      • Figure 29: Price sensitivity– Threshold prices, 2022
    • Users will support services that support artists
      • Figure 30: Attitudes toward fair compensation and sharing accounts, 2022
  12. Hardware and Streaming Audio

    • Streaming audio services can continue to appeal to commuters
      • Figure 31: Devices used for audio entertainment, 2022
    • Middle-aged adults might look for streaming audio to lighten up the home
      • Figure 32: Attitudes toward streaming audio hardware, by age, 2022
  13. Podcast Attitudes, Behaviors and Preferences

    • Six in 10 adults listen to podcasts, mostly to have a good time
      • Figure 33: Reasons to listen to podcasts, 2022
    • Storytelling podcasts could present a unique opportunity to reach women
      • Figure 34: Reasons to listen to podcasts, by gender, 2022
    • Younger generations want to be entertained
      • Figure 35: Reasons to listen to podcasts, by generation, 2022
    • Multicultural listeners look for more out of podcasts
      • Figure 36: Reasons to listen to podcasts, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Podcasting is an effective advertising medium for most listeners
      • Figure 37: Attitudes toward podcast advertising, 2022
    • Black adults are particularly trusting of what content creators promote
      • Figure 38: Attitudes toward podcast advertising, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
  14. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Marketing creative
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  15. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 39: Total US consumer expenditures for streaming audio, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
  16. Appendix – Price Sensitivity Analysis

    • Methodology
      • Figure 40: Price sensitivity – Price sensitivity aggregate table, 2022
      • Figure 41: Price sensitivity – Price summary table, 2022

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


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Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


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