U.S. Holiday Spending Projected to Reach All-Time High in 2020
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‘Tis the Season: U.S. Holiday Spending Projected to Reach All-Time High in 2020

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U.S. Holiday Spending Projected to Reach All-Time High in 2020

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The Briefing

  • U.S. consumers are expected to spend up to $767 billion this holiday season
  • Online and non-store sales are projected to account for $218 billion of that
  • On Black Friday alone, U.S. consumers spent $9 billion online—a 22% increased compared to 2019

U.S. Holiday Spending Projected to Reach All-Time High in 2020

Despite the economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19, Americans are still willing to shell out some serious cash this holiday season.

This year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) expects U.S. consumers to spend up to $767 billion through the months of November and December—a 5.2% increase compared to 2019.

Why the increase, given 2020’s economic turmoil? The NRF cites recent job growth, low energy costs, and reduced spending on travel and entertainment as a few key factors driving this year’s projected spending growth.

15 Years of U.S. Holiday Spending

In America, November and December are generally the busiest retail months of the year. Here’s how much U.S. consumers have spent during the holidays since 2005:

Year          U.S. Retail Spending During Holiday Season (Billions)YoY Change
2005$496.06.2%
2006$512.13.2%
2007$526.02.7%
2008$501.5-4.7%
2009$502.71.2%
2010$528.85.2%
2011$553.34.6%
2012$567.62.6%
2013$584.43.0%
2014$614.15.1%
2015$632.93.1%
2016$652.63.1%
2017$687.45.3%
2018$700.71.9%
2019$729.14.1%

While this year’s spending is set to break records, the shopping experience will likely look different for many consumers. For instance, 59% of U.S. shoppers plan to do more shopping online this year, in an attempt to stay safe during the pandemic.

»What about other major retail holidays? Read our full article How Holiday Spending Compares Around the World

Where does this data come from?

Source: U.S. Census via National Retail Federation
Note: NRF holiday spending is defined as the months of November and December. NRF’s forecast excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations, and restaurants.

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Ranked: The Top Online Music Services in the U.S. by Monthly Users

This graphic shows the percentage of Americans that are monthly music listeners for each service. Which online music service is most popular?

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Top Online Music Services in the U.S.

The Briefing

  • Two-thirds of music listeners in the U.S. used YouTube at least once per month
  • 64% of music listeners use multiple music services per month

The Top Online Music Services in the U.S.

The music streaming industry is characterized by fierce competition, with many companies vying for market share.

Companies are competing on multiple fronts, from price and features to advertising and exclusive content, making it a challenging market for companies to succeed in.

YouTube (the standard offering and YouTube Music) has the highest amount of users, attracting around two-thirds of music listeners in the U.S. during a given month. This is largely due to the YouTube’s massive reach and extensive catalog of music.

Here’s a full rundown of the top music streaming services in the U.S. by monthly listeners:

RankMusic Service% of U.S. Music Listeners Who Use Monthly
#1YouTube61%
#2TSpotify35%
#2TAmazon Music 35%
#4Pandora23%
#5SiriusXM21%
#6Apple Music19%
#7iHeartRadio15%
#8SoundCloud10%
#9Audacity6%
#10TTuneIn5%
#10TDeezer5%
#10TNapster5%
#10TTidal5%

Two companies are in the running for second place: Spotify and Amazon Music.

Spotify leads in one important metric: number of paid users. Meanwhile, Amazon Music has a large user base since the service is bundled into Prime—however, recent changes mean that without a premium subscription, shuffled playback is the primary option. Time will tell what impact those changes will have on the service’s market share.

Prices for premium music services are beginning to creep upward. Apple Music and Amazon Music raised their prices, and it’s rumored that Spotify will not be far behind. This move would be significant because, in the U.S., Spotify hasn’t raised its prices in over a decade.

Rising prices and more aggressive promotion of premium subscriptions could be a signal that music streaming services are transitioning from a focus on capturing market share to monetizing existing users.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Activate Technology and Media Outlook 2023 by Activate Consulting

Data note: “Music services” include free and paid services used for listening to music through any format excluding terrestrial radio. “Music listeners” are defined as adults aged 18+ who spend any time listening to music.

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