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Nielsen: Music Streaming Mainstream

New York – Music streaming, personal music libraries and smartphones account for major shares of consumers’ daily music listening, a Nielsen survey confirms.

A total of 59 percent of music listeners use a combination of over-the-air AM/FM or online radio streams to play music, followed by individual music libraries (48 percent); on-demand streaming music services such as Spotify, YouTube or Vevo (41 percent); and curated streaming music services such as Pandora or iTunes Radio (36 percent), Nielsen’s Music 360 survey found.

The new music technologies support music sales, Nielsen also found. Among digital music consumers listening online or through a mobile device, 18 percent have purchased a song while streaming it.

Smartphones are the third most popular device used to listen to music following radios and computers, “but their effect on music listening is growing,” Nielsen said. More than 70 percent of Americans own a smartphone, Nielsen said, and smartphone owners use their phones to buy music. Thirty-nine percent of smartphone owners purchased music on such a device in 2014, up from 34 percent a year ago.

All told, 93 percent of the national population listens to music and spends more than 25 hours each week listening, making music their top form of entertainment, Nielsen said. Seventy-five percent of respondents said they actively chose to listen to music, exceeding the 73 percent who said they actively chose to watch TV.

Almost a quarter of all weekly music listening occurs in the car, and listening at work or when doing chores at home each account for around 15 percent of weekly listening.

Results are based on an online survey of more than 2,500 consumers in August and September.