Streaming behind $21bn mobile music market in 2021

Strategy Analytics predicts that the global mobile music market value will grow from $12.8 billion in 2014 to $21.3 billion in 2021, driven by the combined effect of the ascendency of mobile music streaming (paid subscription and ad-funded free listening) in all markets, the transition from physical to digital music consumption in Japan, and the increasing consumption of legal music content by mobile users in China and other emerging markets.

The increasing popularity of mobile music streaming has been a trend across different markets, but other kinds of mobile music consumption do not just go away.

“Over the last two years, we have witnessed a fast growth in both demand for and supply of mobile music streaming services in particular in North America and Western Europe, which is coupled by a slow decline in pay-per-download sales,” said Nitesh Patel, Director, Wireless Media Strategies (WMS). “The popularity of streaming services is also seen in Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and Latin America, though in these markets the sales from pay per download are still growing, albeit at a slower pace.  On the supply side, in addition to the familiar names like Spotify and Deezer that continue to expand, including through partnerships with mobile carriers and device makers in different markets, there are also local services that have experienced fast growth as well, like Saavn and Gaana in India and Tencent in China.  We expect the trends to continue in the forecast period.”

“Meanwhile, we have also seen the slowdown in the highly profitable personalisation services, like ringtone and ringback tone selling offered by mobile operators, particularly from China and other Asian markets,” said Wei Shi, Analyst in the Wireless Media Strategies research program. “There are promising signs that Chinese consumers are embracing mobile streaming and more of them are consuming legal content.  In Japan, the world’s second largest music market, the mode of music consumption is transitioning from physical to digital.  With smartphone penetration increasing, we expect the pace of transition to accelerate, which will provide a new impetus to the growth of the global mobile music market.”

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