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Multi-Screen Analysis Shows Who's Winning at Streaming Media

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The multi-screen measurement company Verto Analytics recently launched the Verto Index, where it creates a comprehensive multi-screen analysis for a different category each month. For July, it looked at the U.S. streaming media market, giving a rare holistic view that combines ad-supported video sites, subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services, music services, and more.

YouTube is the king of streaming media, Verto finds, with 231.3 million monthly users. It's followed by Vimeo with 100.4 million, and Netflix with 71.0 million. Apple Music comes next with 67.9 million, making it the most popular streaming music service. However, SoundCloud (45.3 million), Pandora (43.7 million), and Spotify (43.5 million) closely follow it.

Verto's numbers come from data collected on almost one billion consumer devices, such as desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, e-book readers, and gaming consoles. It doesn't yet collect data from set-top boxes or connected TVs, so Netflix and Hulu's numbers should certainly be higher.

Verto points out that 16 of the top 25 streaming services in the U.S. deliver video, while 9 deliver audio.

The index does more than count users. It also measures net reach, stickiness (the percent of the user base that engages with the platform every day), and average session length, making it a useful tool for advertisers and marketers. Nickelodeon leads for stickiness (49 percent), followed by YouTube (43 percent), and Disney's Watch (29 percent).

“YouTube is clearly the giant in the streaming media game, in terms of monthly PC users at 172 million, smartphone users at 124 million, and tablet users at 63 million. Moreover, they have been able to beat the key competitors also in terms of stickiness and average time spent per month by a wide margin," says Dr. Hannu Verkasalo, CEO of Verto Analytics. "However, we cannot call YouTube a particularly mobile-centric property. Many other services are driven by mobile-only audiences, and as people continue to shift time to mobile devices it is interesting to see if YouTube is able to maintain such a significant lead."

Verto only looked at streaming services, which creates some odd omissions. Facebook, the second most popular video destination in the U.S. according to the latest ComScore rankings, isn't on the chart. According to Verkasalo, Facebook is a social network and not a service.

View the full Verto streaming media index on the Verto site (no registration required).

Update 9/2/15: Verto PR got in touch with us to say that the high number for Apple Music counts everyone who uses the Apple Music app for any reason, not just the Apple Music subscription service. Many of those people are simply using the app to play locally stored songs. Why Verto counted it that way we just can’t say.

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