Streaming music subscribers worldwide 2015-2018

In 2018, the number of music streaming subscribers worldwide amounted to 278 million, up from 198.6 million in the previous year. Paid music streaming subscriptions have become the norm for many music fans, and the market has seen consistently impressive increases in subscriber numbers over the last few years. Recent forecasts show however that whilst both subscriber numbers and revenue are expected to continue to rise, growth will slow down in the near future. Changes can already be seen from 2016 onwards. Year-on-year music streaming revenue growth was 65.1 percent worldwide, but fell by more than 20 percent in 2017 and was just 34 percent a year later.

It is expected that the U.S. and the UK will continue to be the biggest streaming markets in years to come, but reports also show that Brazil, India, China, and MENA countries will catch up over the next decade and rank among the top global markets by 2026. Other changes to the market include a growing focus on podcasts, which have more potential than many music buffs may realize.

Music streaming and podcasts

Several companies have reaped the benefits of consumers’ growing interest in on-the-go digital music consumption, especially market leader Spotify, which made its first profit in early 2019. Spotify has announced plans to spend hundreds of millions on podcasting, hoping to capitalize on the potential podcasts have to generate ad revenue and plotting to invest in exclusive content so podcasts fans go to Spotify first.

But it is not only the companies offering digital music services who are making money from music streaming: consumers are, too (and some more than others). Whilst recording artists battle for streams to secure as many royalty payments as possible, the lesser-known beneficiaries of music streaming services are in fact podcast curators.

A 2019 report showed that podcast curators with an average audience of 20 thousand listeners per weekly podcast would need just 80 thousand streams per month to generate an income of around 6,500 U.S. dollars. Meanwhile, major record label artists would need over seven million streams of their content to earn the same amount.

Number of music streaming subscribers worldwide from 2015 to 2018

Number of subscribers in millions
Exclusive Premium statistic

You need a Premium Account for unlimited access.

  • Full access to 1m statistics

  • Incl. source references

  • Available to download in PNG, PDF, XLS format

Premium Account

only $59 / month *
*Duration: 12 months, billed annually, single license

Access to this and all other statistics on 80,000 topics from

$708 / Year

Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date

March 2019



Survey time period

2015 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Figures for years prior to 2018 come from previous reports.

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.
This statistic is not included in your account!

Premium Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$59 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "Music streaming worldwide"

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.