Paid-for streaming music subscription services have experienced significant growth in both the US and key markets in Western Europe, with paid-for subscribers in these territories expected to double to over 20 million in 2014 compared to 2012, according to research from Futuresource Consulting.
“Global consumer spend on streaming services in the US and Western Europe – excluding personalised radio services – reached almost $1.9 billion in 2013, with 59 per cent growth expected this year to reach an estimated $3 billion, with most users using service provider apps on smartphones or tablets to access and play out music,” says David Sidebottom, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting.
“Wireless audio hardware is in the driving seat, with devices like wireless speakers key to the development of streaming music subscription services, providing an additional layer to the user experience beyond a personal listening experience via headphones or a standard docking station.”
The overall music market in many leading geographies produced some green shoots in 2013. However, despite the strong growth in streaming services, in many markets it will not be enough in the short term to compensate for both the decline in packaged music and pay-per-download (PPD) market. While the coming of age of paid-for streaming subscriptions in a number of countries has helped stabilise overall consumer spend, it has also stifled growth in PPD albums and singles from services such as iTunes. And as streaming services take hold of the music industry, Futuresource Consulting will be exploring future business opportunities at a half day event in London on 23 October.
“Packaged music declines have eased in some countries, but continue to show signs of weakness,” says Sidebottom. “Japan and Germany continue to have a strong affiliation to packaged media compared to other countries, combined they accounting for over 50 per cent of total global spend on packaged music.”