NPD: Pandora, iHeartRadio top streaming radio usage, fueled by mobile

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Subscription-based and free Internet radio services like Pandora and Spotify accounted for 23 percent of average weekly music listening time among U.S. consumers between the ages of 13 and 35 during the fourth quarter of 2012, up from 17 percent in the year-ago period, thanks to increasing mobile engagement, according to a new NPD Group report.

The free version of Pandora led all streaming music services in during the fourth quarter, representing 39 percent of usage among Americans 13 to 35. iHeartRadio follows at 11 percent, ahead of Spotify's free offering at 9 percent. Grooveshark trails at 3 percent, ahead of Slacker at 2 percent.

More than half of Pandora and iHeartRadio users leverage their mobile phones to access streaming music, NPD notes. In addition, roughly one in five Pandora or iHeartRadio users access those services in their cars, a context historically dominated by conventional AM/FM radio listening--in fact, terrestrial radio now represents just 24 percent of music-listening time in the 13-to-35 segment, a year-over-year decline of 2 percentage points. NPD also cites a drop in consumers listening to CDs and digital music files.

NPD: Chart

Source: NPD

"Driven by mobility and connectivity, music-streaming services are rapidly growing their share of the music listening experience for teens and young adults, at the expense of traditional music listening methods," said Russ Crupnick, NPD's senior vice president of industry analysis.

Americans 36 and older have been far slower to migrate their listening habits, however: Internet radio accounted for just 13 percent of music listening in late 2012, while AM/FM radio captured a 41 percent share.

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