An ideal audience for any podcast, music streaming, or audiobook service is the listener who is driving in their car, consistently committing their time to the service as part of their daily journeys. For a driver, audio content is served easily with few distractions and makes productive use of time spent in the car.

With companies racing to claim mindshare with drivers, Drivemode looked at anonymized driver behavior of Android users to find the music services that are winning the audio battle. “How drivers access their music and other audio content is helpful information for app developers, marketers, and anyone trying to reach or understand drivers while in the car,” said Yo Koga, co-founder and CEO of Drivemode. “We are excited to be an ongoing resource regarding driving trends and behavior.”

Drivemode analyzed more than 1.6 million user sessions when a music player app was launched, among 109,337 unique users. The data was collected from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017, across 50 states plus Washington, D.C. The rankings below show the percentage of user sessions that each music player app was used by U.S. Android drivers in 2017.

National Rankings

  1. Spotify: 24.71% (401,296 sessions)
  2. Google Play Music: 24.69% (401,002 sessions)
  3. Pandora: 14.26% (231,539 sessions)
  4. Amazon Music: 8.25% (133,981 sessions)
  5. Samsung: 3.59% (58,330 sessions)

Spotify just barely pulled ahead of Google Play Music in actual music sessions, though Google Play ranked #1 in 27 states and Spotify ranked #1 in 18 states.The states in which Spotify is the most popular contributed more overall music sessions than the Google Play states, hence why Spotify reigns supreme across the U.S. even though it’s preferred in fewer states. Together these two apps are making up almost half of all music player usage in the car. For every 50 car trips taken, Spotify is used on 12 trips, Google Play Music is used on 12 trips, Pandora is used on 7 trips, Amazon on 4, and a variety of other apps are used on the remaining 15 trips.

#1 Ranked Music Players By State
Google Play Music #1 in 27 States
Spotify #1 in 18 States
Pandora #1 in 5 States

#2 Ranked Music Player By State
Google Play Music #2 in 18 States
Spotify #2 in 26 States
Pandora #2 in 5 States
Samsung Music #2 in 2 States

“With Google Play Music including a local MP3 player function and being pre-installed on Android devices, Spotify’s success is impressive. It’s possible that some of Spotify’s driver-friendly offline features, such as downloading playlists, contribute to that success,” said Koga. “Our data shows that in 2017 Spotify and Google Play Music battled head to head, but Pandora continues to gain ground on the two larger services.”

New England is eclectic in its streaming music tastes, with Pandora on top in RI, CT and VT.  The West is Spotify country, as the app claims 8 of the 13 Western states. The Midwest is the land of Google Music, which earned 9 of the 12 states. The first and second rankings are listed for every state in the chart that follows at the end of this report. While the music giants dominated the top of this chart, there were a few smaller services and players that captured users in some states showing that it is possible to get some saturation even if you aren’t Google or Amazon.

Additional Audio Apps In Top 5

Audible
#3 Alabama, 12% of sessions
#3 Oklahoma, 13% of sessions
#5 Connecticut, 3% of sessions
#5 in Utah, 2% of sessions

BlackPlayer Music Player
#5 Nebraska, 6% of sessions

IHeartRadio
#5 Georgia 3% of sessions
#5 Kansas, 3% of sessions
#5 Kentucky, 4% of sessions
#5 Tennessee, 2% of sessions

Music Flow Player
#5 Indiana, 4% of sessions
#5 Louisiana, 4% of sessions
#5 Virginia, 6% of sessions

Slacker Radio
#5 Oregon, 4% of sessions

Top Two Ranked Music Players By State

State Region Most Used App Percentage of
Sessions in State
Second Most Used App Percentage of
Sessions in State
Alabama South Spotify 25% Google Play Music 18%
Alaska West Google Play Music 39% Samsung Music 36%
Arizona West Spotify 26% Google Play Music 24%
Arkansas South Google Play Music 33% Spotify 17%
California West Spotify 27% Google Play Music 22%
Colorado West Spotify 27% Google Play Music 22%
Connecticut Northeast Pandora 27% Spotify 24%
Delaware South Spotify 22% Google Play Music 20%
District of Columbia South Google Play Music 28% Spotify 19%
Florida South Spotify 25% Google Play Music 24%
Georgia South Spotify 27% Google Play Music 22%
Hawaii West Spotify 43% Pandora 18%
Idaho West Google Play Music 25% Spotify 21%
Illinois Midwest Google Play Music 28% Spotify 27%
Indiana Midwest Google Play Music 33% Spotify 20%
Iowa Midwest Google Play Music 32% Spotify 19%
Kansas Midwest Google Play Music 31% Spotify 20%
Kentucky South Google Play Music 24% Spotify 24%
Louisiana South Google Play Music 23% Pandora 22%
Maine Northeast Google Play Music 29% Spotify 18%
Maryland South Google Play Music 30% Spotify 17%
Massachusetts Northeast Google Play Music 33% Spotify 18%
Michigan Midwest Google Play Music 26% Spotify 26%
Minnesota Midwest Google Play Music 29% Spotify 24%
Mississippi South Sirius 18% Pandora 14%
Missouri Midwest Google Play Music 28% Spotify 20%
Montana West Spotify 24% Google Play Music 23%
Nebraska Midwest Spotify 25% Google Play Music 23%
Nevada West Spotify 31% Google Play Music 27%
New Hampshire Northeast Spotify 44% Pandora 23%
New Jersey Northeast Spotify 33% Google Play Music 24%
New Mexico West Spotify 36% Google Play Music 18%
New York Northeast Google Play Music 30% Spotify 25%
North Carolina South Google Play Music 23% Spotify 22%
North Dakota Midwest Pandora 26% Google Play Music 25%
Ohio Midwest Google Play Music 27% Spotify 23%
Oklahoma South Spotify 22% Google Play Music 22%
Oregon West Google Play Music 26% Spotify 22%
Pennsylvania Northeast Google Play Music 23% Spotify 23%
Rhode Island Northeast Pandora 34% Spotify 22%
South Carolina South Google Play Music 26% Spotify 25%
South Dakota Midwest Pandora 34% Google Play Music 20%
Tennessee South Google Play Music 22% Spotify 21%
Texas South Spotify 24% Google Play Music 22%
Utah West Google Play Music 31% Spotify 17%
Vermont Northeast Pandora 63% Samsung Music 11%
Virginia South Spotify 22% Google Play Music 21%
Washington West Google Play Music 23% Spotify 20%
West Virginia South Google Play Music 40% Pandora 20%
Wisconsin Midwest Google Play Music 32% Spotify 25%
Wyoming West Spotify 26% Google Play Music 25%

ABOUT DRIVEMODE

Drivemode enables smarter, safer, connected driving in any vehicle. Founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs from Zipcar and Tesla Motors, Drivemode is working to fundamentally change the way consumers use technology in the car. Drivemode transforms a user’s phone into a car’s central computing device allowing voice-to-text messaging, music player overlay on navigation, “Do Not Disturb” mode, message auto-reply, location sharing, and personalized travel recommendations. Their automotive-grade interface is designed and developed to adhere to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety guidelines for driving apps.

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Posted by:Drivemode Team

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