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Report: Spotify opposes Apple One

September 17, 2020

According to Mediavision’s newly published analysis Media & Markets, Spotify stands out as the most popular service in the Nordics. The company invests heavily in innovation projects. This week, rival Apple’s new move in bundling caused Spotify to call for attention from the competition authorities.

The second quarter of 2020 is likely a ‘new’ tipping point for digital media. In Sweden, as elsewhere, the restrictions led to lockdowns, in turn spurring a strong growth in digital media consumption. “Stacking”, i.e. the number of services a household subscribes to, increased to 2,5 – an increase of +11 per cent.

Growth is mainly driven by SVoD (also resulting in record levels for online video reach), but the single most popular service is Spotify – however, without showing no significant subscriber growth in Sweden. Why? Because the audio market in the homeland of Spotify is now fully digital and mature.

Mediavision has previously reported on Spotify’s strategic initiatives to attain a leading position on the podcast market. But the efforts go further. In August, Spotify announced a partnership with Riot Games (publisher of the popular League of Legends), as an official audio streaming partner for global eSports events. Just the week, the company revealed a partnership with IKEA regarding personified playlists related to consumers everyday living at home. In addition, rumours claim that Spotify is working both on its own hardware and on new features such as karaoke and livestreaming of music events.

Spotify seems to be moving with full force. But the company does not lack competition, with one major rival being Apple.

This week, Apple announced the new bundling service Apple One. The bundling of services with a highly competitive price setting has stirred controversy in the industry. Spotify instantly reacted to the news, accusing Apple of utilising its dominating position and unjust methods to engage in anti-competitive behaviour.

Although Spotify holds a strong market share in the US regarding music services, the most recent reports (end of 2019) of MUA’s (monthly active users) from Apple and Spotify show that Apple Music had 2 million more paying US subscribers than Spotify. Focusing on the Nordic market, Spotify holds a solid position as market leader among music streaming services. In Spotify’s home market Sweden, Mediavision figures show that approximately 1,8 million Swedish households subscribed to the service in Q2 2020. This represents a market share of approximately 80 per cent. Mediavision analysis also concludes that Spotify holds a dominant position in Denmark, Finland and Norway.

Apple Music, on the other hand, reach less than 5 per cent of Nordic homes via its Music service and about the same for it’s video streaming service Apple TV+, which is part of the Apple One bundles. So, although the Nordic music streaming market have approached maturity, the industry in its whole still presents interesting twists and turns.

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