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Two Out of Three Households Stream Music From the Internet

Two out of three U.S. households with broadband Internet access stream music or other forms of audio programming from the internet, according to a new study by Parks Associates.

Forty percent of all U.S. households access only free audio streaming services online and 26% have access to a paid music service, according to the market research company.

However, the most popular music service may surprise you: 10% of all broadband households have access to Amazon Prime Music, whereas only 4% pay for Spotify’s premium tier. Pandora’s paid and ad-free tier is available to 6%  of all U.S. broadband households.

SEE MORE: Google’s New $35 Chromecast Audio Is a Game-Changer for Streaming Music

So why is Amazon Prime Music so popular? That’s because Parks didn’t research actual usage, and instead decided to focus on the number of households paying for each service. Amazon makes Prime Music available to anyone paying for Amazon Prime.

The company hasn’t released any actual numbers for Prime, but some estimate that up to 50 million customers may pay for Prime in the U.S. alone. The actual usage of Prime Music however is likely a lot lower. Spotify has over 20 million paying subscribers worldwide.

Regardless of who owns how much of the pie, the growing popularity of Internet streaming is changing how consumers are listening to music. “Wireless speakers, multiroom audio systems, and soundbars constitute a growing home audio segment, which is offsetting declining sales in home theater and traditional audio components,” said Parks analyst Brad Russell. “Together, these three devices will generate $26 billion annually in global sales in 2020.”

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