Spotify’s User Growth Continues as Pandora Plateaus

Pandora is the most popular music streaming service in the US. But that will change in the coming years, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast on digital audio listeners.

This year, Pandora will have 75.9 million users in the US, compared with 58.4 million for Spotify. However, eMarketer expects Pandora’s user base in the US will decline slightly throughout the forecast period, while Spotify will see double-digit growth this year and next.

“Pandora’s focus on converting free listeners to subscribers, coupled with much stiffer competition, will keep their overall reach from growing,” said Martín Utreras, eMarketer’s vice president of forecasting. “Meanwhile, Spotify has benefited from being first to market with family plans, offline listening, integrations with other services like Hulu and effective social sharing tools.”

A complicating twist in the digital audio space is the growing importance of smart speakers. The smart speaker market got a little more crowded as Samsung unveiled its first entry, the Galaxy Home, last week. As part of the rollout, Samsung announced a new partnership with Spotify, under which Spotify will become the “go-to music provider” on all Samsung devices, and be fully integrated with Samsung’s voice assistant, Bixby.

In practice, that means Spotify will be part of the initial setup process on any Samsung device, and Bixby will play songs from Spotify when a user asks for music.

The partnership makes sense for Spotify and Samsung. Both companies are direct competitors to Apple in their respective markets, and the move puts them in a better position to challenge the iOS maker.

“A growing number of US households are consuming audio through smart speakers,” Utreras said. “For audio platforms like Spotify, integration and partnerships with those manufacturers will be a key driver of growth.”

4 Social Media Trends in Healthcare This Year

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1. Video is King

Video is quickly becoming the main source of content for many brands. Cisco projects that 80% of online traffic will be driven by video content by next year. About 80% of social media users say they’d rather watch a video than read text.

When it comes to healthcare content, mobile video will likely be the best bet for marketers. Video content and live streaming has a unique way of engaging viewers.

Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health posts live broadcasts on their Facebook page regularly. Medical supplies company Avacare Medical routinely posts videos on their Facebook page that features educational or uplifting content.

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Snapchat quietly launched sticker packs to win over creators

Snapchat’s charm offense with creators continues with the trial of creator-made stickers. This comes on the heels of the launch of Storytellers, a program launched last week that connects brands with top creators to make ad campaigns on Snapchat.

Last week, Geir Ove Pederson, aka Geeohsnap, launched the first creator-made sticker pack for Snapchat. It showed up when users clicked the star button within the sticker section of the app.

Geeohsnap’s Snapchat sticker pack

On July 29, Ketnipz, a popular cartoon created by Harry Hambley, appeared as a sticker pack. Hambley had previously worked with Instagram on a ketnipz sticker.

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Also coming soon are sticker packs from Cyrene Quiamco, aka CyreneQ, whose pack features a character commonly featured on her snaps named Ele; Alex Richter, aka decalex, is creating one of calligraphy; Audrey Spencer, aka cakes1todough1, is launching a sticker pack of cats; and Mike Metzler, aka Metz044, made one of corgis, a common element of his Snapchat Stories.

“Being able to include our own branding as a native part of the platform is incredible for us creators. The fact that Snapchat is partnering with creators to roll this out is another way to show they are investing in the creator community,” Metzler said.

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