iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman is making headlines for calling out the company’s competitor Spotify for its apparent undiversified listener base. However, his data doesn’t seem to add up.
The music exec spoke about radio, particular iHeartRadio, during a recent press conference:
Radio already has the greatest number of reception devices of any media [in the world]: 1 billion radios as compared to 229 million smartphones and 144 million laptops and netbooks. And now we have the addition of new devices like smart speakers in the home, Alexa and Google Home, which increased listening opportunities for all of our audio properties.
As his speech pertained to Spotify, Pittman said:
75% of iHeartMedia’s listening comes from 34% of our audience, that’s the radio experience… in contrast, 73% of Spotify’s listening comes from just 3% of their audience and 72% of Pandora’s listening comes from just 5% of their audience.
In a rare, public statement, Spotify’s CEO was quick to rebuttal the claims:
Not sure where that data is from, but it's far from true.
— Daniel Ek (@eldsjal) August 15, 2019
Spotify reportedly counted 232m monthly active users in Q2 this year. With a total of 17 billion listening hours of content between them. That’s an average of 49 minutes of consumption per user per day.
According to media analyst Rich Greenfield:
If 3% [of Spotify users therefore] listened to 73% as iHeartMedia said it implies 3% of Spotify users listen to ~20 hours/user/day with remaining 97% at just 14 mins/user/day.
Read more on the explanation below.
Mr. Pittman appears to have misinterpreted data from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear®” study that was reported two years ago by Westwood One. https://t.co/ZE0HQaEIus We can clarify. (Thread)
— Edison Research (@edisonresearch) August 16, 2019