NPD: Music Listening Up On Smartphones

More than half (54%) of smartphone owners and 40% of tablet users are using their devices to listen to music. Among smartphone users, 39% listen to music once a day and 54% said they’re listening to music on their phone more now than a year ago, according to new data from NPD Group.

Internet radio services such as Pandora are by the far the most popular way to access music, with 65% of smartphone users going that route, with 30% turning to on-demand offerings like Spotify or Rhapsody. Many (60%) also bring their own music to the device, while about half of tablet users port their own music files.

Highlighting the growth of Internet radio, Pandora reported last week that listening hours in December were up 47% from a year ago, while the number of active listeners increased 38%. And the share of U.S. radio listening was 8.03%, up from 5.55%. The majority of listening on Pandora now takes place on mobile devices.

NPD said spread of Internet radio and on-demand services is boosting sales of related consumer electronics. “Products that enhance listening like streaming speakers and soundbars with Bluetooth and even premium headphones have experienced tremendous growth over the past year is evidence that consumers aren’t only satisfied with music on-the-go- they increasingly want to use these devices for a better in-home music experience” said Ben Arnold, director of industry analysis at NPD.

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