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Download Revenue To Shrink 50% As Streaming Music Grows To 950 Million Users, Says New Analysis


Arrows upStreaming music adoption is exploding, but just how big a can it get? And at how bad a hit will paid downloads take as streaming expands? Very big and very bad are the answers provided in a new report from Strategy Analytics.

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The number of streaming music users will more than double to in four years  to reach 950 million according to the latest forecast by Strategy Analytics.  Streaming will account for 95% of all mobile music use, and that will grow the market to $12 billion by 2022. 

Full track download will almost halve from $1.1 billion in 2015 to $600 million in 2022.

“Streaming music services are proving a better fit for mobile music than music download stores,” says Nitesh Patel, Director, Wireless Media Strategies from Strategy Analysis. “On the demand-side the growth in mobile streaming is being driven by increasing consumer demand for anywhere and anytime access to tens of millions of tracks via streaming music services, like Apple Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, and YouTube, instead of downloading or side-loading. On the supply-side higher smartphone penetration, as well as competitive data plans offered by operators, including zero-rated and unlimited data plans, are removing consumers’ concern for data overage when listening to music on the move. “ Apple - Spotify“Important markets like Japan, which transitioned late from consumption of physical music to digital music, have largely bypassed download and gone directly to streaming. We have seen competition between services driving prices downwards,” adds Wei Shi, a Wireless Media Strategies analyst and author of the forecast.

The report also notes that the majority of streamers use free, ad-funded offers, and will remain so until the end of the forecast period. In markets like Eastern Europe and Latin America, advertising income is already comparable to premium payment. However, much to the chagrin of the music industry, in most advanced markets, e.g. Western Europe, North America and advanced APAC, the advertising income is still very small. This discrepancy will continue to drive music labels and other right owners to go for higher licensing fees from OTT services.