Global online music streaming subscriptions grew 32% year-on-year (YoY) reaching 358 million subscriptions in CY 2019, according to the latest findings from Counterpoint Research. This is driven by the availability of exclusive content like podcasts, originals which attracted people towards the platform and eventually turned them as subscribers. Also, promotional activities like price cuts in subscriptions in emerging markets, bundled offers from telcos added to the growth. We expect that online music streaming subscriptions to grow more than 25% YoY to exceed 450 million subscriptions by the end of 2020.
Commenting on the overall market, Research Analyst, Abhilash Kumar, said, “Paid subscriptions grew 32% YoY compared to 23% YoY growth of total MAUs. This suggests people are ready to pay for music streaming for a hassle-free experience. However, this is not completely user-driven. Music streaming platforms are following a two-step approach to gain subscribers, first registering them to their platform as free users by means of excellent advertising campaigns and secondly pitching them with attractive offers to transfer them to become paying subscribers.”
Spotify topped CY 2019 grabbing a 31% share of the total revenue and a 35% share of the total paid subscriptions. The runner up, Apple Music, follows with a 24% share of total revenues in the industry and a 19% share of the total paid subscriptions. Due to Apple’s high focus on its services segment which includes Apple Music, its subscription base grew 36% YoY in CY 2019. Amazon Music subscriptions reached a 15% share in 2019 compared to 10% in 2018.
Talking about the top performers, Kumar added, “Spotify maintained its top spot with the help of promotional activities like free Spotify Premium for three months, price cuts, customized campaigns like Spotify and a focus on exclusive content. Tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google have started focusing on music streaming and have sufficient cash at their disposal to give stiff competition to Spotify. Apple Music is making improvements in its app like the introduction of night mode, curated playlists to target a group, etc. Similarly, Amazon Music has been trying lossless music and is creating its own niche where it competes with Tidal.”