By Robert Menta 7/21/13
When it comes to paid music subscriptions, satellite radio holds a wide margin over everyone else. Sirius XM owns the auto market, where the predictable and tightly targeted playlists of terrestrial radio drove 25.1 million people to pay monthly for music a commuter can hum to. But with the rise of smart phones and with Bluetooth connectivity becoming commonplace in new cars, Internet/mobile providers are poised to capture more of that captive audience.
Worldwide Spotify leads potential Sirius challengers with 6 million paid subscribers, less than one-fourth of satellite radio's pay audience. Spotify's $4.99 a month unlimited and $9.99 a month premium service price range is also less than Sirius' $6.99 to $16.99 per month draw. Of course, Spotify doesn't have to maintain very expensive satellite technology either. Deezer, whose prices match Spotify, comes in a solid second place with roughly 4 million paying international subscribers.
If we look at the US only, a different business model has found greater traction among the pay subscription set. Thanks to being part of a package bundled by parent Cricket Communications wireless services, US only Muve music leads in the states with 1.7 million paid subscribers.
And what about the number one web music service, Pandora? It's free ad-supported service draws the most ears, but it's $36 a year paid service is only good enough for third place worldwide with about 2.5 million subscribers. Pandora, does have a growing penetration in the auto market, with deals with Ford, Honda, and Toyota, so those paid figures could easily spike in the coming year as it competes head-to-head with Sirius.
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