Streaming has changed not only the music industry and how it functions, but also the lives of everyday people. Now, simply by signing up to platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio or any of the dozens of other streaming offerings out there, millions of people can discover tunes that might not otherwise have reached them, stay on top of what’s just been released and listen to as much music as they want. It seems that many are indulging in that last option, and now, Americans are spending more time listening to music than ever before.
According to a new report released by Nielsen Music, on average, Americans now spend just slightly more than 32 hours a week listening to music. That’s an incredible figure, and it shows significant growth from even just the past two years. In 2016, Americans listened to an average of 26.6 hours of music per week, while the year prior, it was just 23.5 hours.
The trend shows massive gains from year to year, with the average expanding by several hours every 12 months. While some interactions with forms of media are measured in minutes, Americans now listen to almost a day and a half of music every week, which shows that they have songs, albums and playlists streaming throughout the day, and that they now incorporate music in many different parts of their life. The upswing isn’t likely to stop growing, but how many more hours per week can people have music playing?
While the actual figure is massive and somewhat shocking, it’s not actually too surprising that the amount of time Americans spend playing music itself is growing, as the number of songs being played is also rising. While one doesn’t necessarily mean the other is happening, this country is seeing streaming grow all aspects of music consumption.
At 2017’s mid-year mark, Americans had hit play on 184 billion songs on on-demand streaming outlets like Spotify and Apple Music. That’s up an incredible 62% from the same period a year before. The major players in the space have all added millions of users over the past several months, and they’ll continue to pad their subscriber bases as time goes on.
These figures show that not only are more people listening to more music, they’re spending a lot more time doing so. While that 32 hours per week stat does take into account all forms of music consumption (including radio), streaming is a big part of the story, and since these numbers are all collected digitally, it’s become easier to be more accurate when looking at play counts and time spent tuning into big hits.