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Music Streaming - Statistics & Facts

In 2020, music streaming revenue hit 13.4 billion U.S. dollars worldwide, more than 28 times the figure recorded a decade ago. Revenue growth may have slowed over the past few years, but continues to be a vital income stream for artists around the globe, with the number of music streaming subscribers worldwide reaching 487 million in 2021. The rise of music streaming can be seen in the share music streaming contributed to the total music revenues in the United States, which reached an astonishing 83 percent in 2020, having grown year-by-year from five percent in 2009. The number of paid music subscribers in the U.S. rose accordingly from 7.9 million in the first half of 2014 to a whooping 82.1 million in the first half of 2021.

Spotify dominates the market

Today, there are multiple free and paid services consumers can use to enjoy their favorite music, but Spotify remains the global market leader. Spotify alone accounted for 172 million of the world’s paid music subscribers in the first quarter of 2021, and some artists accumulate tens of millions of streams per week, offering not only valuable exposure but also a source of income. In the third quarter of 2021, Spotify generated a revenue of over two billion euros through its premium subscribers with an additional 323 million euros coming in from ad supported subscribers. Even though Spotify attracts over 380 million users per month, the Swedish streaming giant is not known for paying its artists handsomely. Research has shown that artists would need hundreds of thousands of streams to earn the U.S. minimum monthly wage, and without managing to feature on a Spotify-curated playlist, this number of streams remains a pipe dream for many smaller unsigned artists. As a result, for many new music creators the decision of whether to feature their work on the world’s biggest streaming service is not as simple as one might think.

The future of music streaming

Looking ahead, it is clear is that the music market is changing. Music streaming as a form of music consumption has exceeded digital music and music downloads and even though the growth in music streaming revenue has slowed down significantly, many markets have still potential for further enlargement. Germany, for example, adopted music streaming later than the likes of the UK or the U.S., but by now music streaming has become very popular and the country’s revenue is forecast to surpass 1.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2025, more than the figure predicted for Spain, Italy, and France combined. However, in years to come, mature markets like these will continue to grow more slowly whilst emerging markets such as India, Brazil, and Mexico are predicted to drive further revenue increases. Whichever way you slice it, with physical sales decreasing and streaming making up most of the market’s revenue, digital music is the future of the industry, and streaming is here to stay.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 32 most important statistics relating to "Music Streaming".

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