Digital Music Services: Who's Winning?

With the advent of Spotify, other streaming services like Pandora, Rdio, Last.FM, and Rhapsody have had to change their game. The consensus among the other guys was that Spotify wasn’t really much of a threat.

But now? The biggest battle is Spotify v Pandora Evidently, it looks like Rdio, Last.FM, and Rhapsody aren’t in that battle anymore… have they become less popular?

Some fans argue Pandora is the best deal for its algorithmic music recommendations, arguably cheaper pricing options that eliminate ads, and free mobile access. But, what’s keeping Spotify afloat is its Facebook name-dropping and ability to select whatever track whenever you want. But Spotify drops ads like bombs, ruining that perfectly romantic evening 😛 How to get rid of those ads: pay Spotify $10 a month. That might seem pricey to those already in love with Pandora.

So the question is, do you care more for the specific track (Spotify) or genre (Pandora)?

Pandora has about 80 million registered users, but only about 50 million of them are “active” according to their standards

Spotify is growing, web rumors predict it’s around 13-16 million users. But only 3 million are paid subscribers

We’re all waiting to see if Spotify’s numbers will grow astronomically. Meanwhile, Pandora claims it isn’t too scared of Spotify.

And all the other guys who put up a fight, good job and good luck. iTunes is still reaping the profits and leading the way, but those Pandora/Spotify numbers represent a crowd not necessarily devoted to iTunes, and that crowd’s numbers are growing.

In the end, no one is saying you have to use one particular service. We’d love to know, however, are you a loyal follower of one, or is your computer constantly juggling between them all?

(pssst, remember Napster? the free, illegal version?)

-Jason E. Ballmann, Sr. Agent