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Music streaming a growing part of the industry

Music streaming services increased revenue 39% and accounted for 23% of total digital music sales. The growth in music streaming has been so strong that many countries have added streaming to their sales numbers when calculating the charts.

Probably the best example of how much impact streaming can have on the charts is the single Problem for Ariana Grande.  It reached number one because both streams and direct sales were included in the totals for the charts. Over 20% of its chart position was due to streaming.

These numbers are from the IFPI Digital Music Report 2015. In regards to streaming, they theorise that the growth in music streaming is driven by younger listeners who never have owned music before. They are generally much happier just listening, even paying to listen to music rather than wanting to download. If they’re right then the trend towards increased revenues from streaming will continue.

Still, this chart from Statista highlights that downloads still account for over half of the digital music revenues.

music streaming as proportion of digital music sales

Infographic: Downloads Still Account for the Bulk of Digital Music Sales | Statista

In the past year many companies have entered the international music sector including Apple, YouTube, and Amazon. Smaller companies launched or expanded. Spotify is now available in Canada, and Music Qubed’s MTV Trax launched in the UK.

The types of music streaming services being offered, as well as pricing structures, vary. The larger companies offer millions of songs and let the listener pick what they want, but the MTV Trax service approaches things differently. They offer up to 100 tracks on eight curated playlists.  The music is automatically downloaded everyday so it’s ready when people wake up and get their day started. The music selections are pre-determined by the app. It’s clear there is lots of room for experimentation in the relatively new industry.

Are you willing to pay for a streaming music service, or are you committed to listening for free?

Oliver Burt

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