Music Streaming Soars with Pharma Consumers


Staying in tune with consumers means a shift to streaming for connection and engagement with your brands. 

This year has permanently altered consumer behavior – we’re redefining and rediscovering our lifestyles, from the devices we use to what we expect from brands, how we communicate, and how we listen.

Digital dominance continues to expand as consumers stream both audio and video content at unprecedented rates, fueled by convenience, on-demand entertainment, and the rise of connected devices. In a recent study, 66% of respondents have used a streaming audio service like Pandora, and 78% used a streaming video service like Netflix.1.  

While traditional TV and AM/FM radio have trended downward for years, widespread shelter-in-place has only accelerated the fall as Americans opt for digital streaming services that offer personalized and on-demand content.  48% of so-called cord-cutters did so within the past year, with 9% in the first month of shelter-in-place (March 21 – April 22) 1.   The same goes for audio; the average daily audio streaming hours have increased +32% since the beginning of the year and 53% of all daily audio listening is now digital! 2, 3 



The audio of today provides what AM/FM radio never could with connectivity, accessibility, and personalization—all powered by technology and the rise of voice-enabled devices.



Three in four Americans have changed routine due to the pandemic, and their media habits have changed with them.  Prior to Covid-19 almost 50% of audio listening was happening at home – but as we’ve all shifted to sheltering in place, 70% of audio listening is now happening in our homes, with a +16% spike across digital devices, and specifically a +43% increase in listening via Smart Speaker. 3. 


Meanwhile AM/FM radio consumption in the home is down -14%, and listening to owned music (such as CDs) is down by -21%.3       



While audio and music reflect consumer lifestyles, we don’t necessarily need a chart to illustrate that music is still a top source for entertainment, inspiration, solace, connection, companionship and more.  Music is undeniably a huge piece of our individual identities – so it’s no surprise that 81% of Americans are turning to music to cope with the self-isolation of the current pandemic.  In fact, for 58% of Americans, music is a “go-to” coping mechanism. 




Once consumers adopt new habits, they tend to stick with them for the foreseeable future.  This means that new media consumption patterns formed during Covid-19 are highly likely to stick even after the pandemic is over.  New streaming habits formed during Covid-19 will be lasting; particularly for audio, as even with post-pandemic potential returns to offices and cars, digital audio is portable.  74% of consumers state that they’re streaming more audio in Covid-19 and plan to continue to do so post-pandemic.5 




A study of Pandora’s listeners clearly illustrates the degree to which the audience connection with the platform and health/wellness is a reality.  93% of Pandora’s audience make efforts to stay healthy physically and mentally, and use music to do so.6   91% believe that listening to music contributes to well-being and 89% use music for mental health.6




At a time when so many consumers are avoiding medical environments, putting off doctor appointments or cancelling them altogether, Pandora’s audience study shows that listeners continue to have ongoing conversations with their healthcare practitioners, and those percentages increased significantly from April to October, 2020.7   In fact, Pandora’s audience is very busy staying healthy with high percentages of listeners seeing HCPs, PCPs and specialists for both new and existing/chronic conditions.6,7 




Digital audio is a ‘touchpoint-must’ for personalized engagement and connection with consumers.  Seamless device integrations are more important now than ever before as consumers continue to migrate across devices.  

In a world of real-time shifts, Pandora and digital audio is one of the few tools that give pharma brands the ability to adjust messaging as rapidly as our culture and our current environment demands it, while also remaining omnipresent across devices.  Combine an audio strategy with a video strategy so your brand reaches the right consumers, at the right time, with the right message, on the right devices, wherever they are.  

Pandora is here to help @ [email protected].

Sources: 1. The Differentiating Factor: The Tale of Two Streamers, OMG Research, Edison Research and Pandora, April 23, 2020 to April 29, 2020. Sample size: 3,026 online interviews with Adults 18+; 2. Comscore, US Audio Streaming Hours, June 2020; 3. Edison Research, Share of Ear Q2 2020, Unique Report, July 2020, People 13+;  4. OnePoll & Harman Int’l as published in People Magazine, June, 2020 

5. Global Web Index, April 2020 6. Pandora Healthcare Soundboard Study, Covid-19, October 2020. 7.  Pandora Covid-19 Soundboard Study, Covid-19, March, 2020 


The editorial staff had no role in this post's creation.