The Music Streaming Battle Is Up In the Air
According to this article Music Streaming has a great future. Still in its adolescence, if not infancy, music streaming is set to make someone a bundle. The question here is “for whom”? This article covers only the Over-The-Top Streaming music providers, the usual suspects: Apple, Google, Amazon, Spotify & Pandora. OK, so they missed Deezer.
Apple and Google essentially acquired their way to a stake in the music streaming arena. Earlier this year Apple acquired Beats Music streaming service for roughly $500M. Google followed suit with a more modest acquisition of Songza for $39M.
Amazon is, per usual, starting it’s Amazon Prime Music from scratch. However at Amazon, they usually get somewhere when they put their minds and money behind something.
Pandora and Spotify are more the ‘classic’ OTT music streaming providers.
PwC earlier this year forecast streaming revenue will grow at 14.5% per year for five years, pushing last year’s $848 million of revenue to $1.67 billion in 2018. In that event, streaming would account for 36.9% of digital revenues, 27.8% of recorded music revenues and 11.1% of total music revenues.
So, it seems everyone is in agreement that streaming music revenues are on the up and up.
Missing here is any recollection of operator owned offerings. Earlier this month, for example Indian operator Bharti Airtel launched its own OTT music streaming service – Wynk (details here).
Do the operators still operators still have a chance to get some revenue from the streaming music pie?
- Music is a big deal at Apple, as its market share comprised 40.6% of US albums last year, but this is also the first year that saw music downloads decline. This is a strong motivator, and its powerful ecosystem comprising nearly a billion credit cards on file removes many roadblocks ahead of it.
- Spotify is a well-established, 8-year old music streaming service that is a direct competitor of Beats Music, but with 40 million active users and 10 million subscribers.
- Pandora accounts for over 9% of all US radio traffic, and the company says that nearly half of all radio listening comes from the car. Pandora is currently preinstalled in all of the top ten selling vehicles, and this year, we will see a third of all cars ship with the service.