At the end of 2016, streaming become the most popular way to listen to music. On demand streaming now accounts for 38% of music “consumed.”(Don’t you love industry jargon?) Meanwhile, digital downloads and physical album sales declined by 25% and 12% respectively last year. Americans now stream more songs in one day than they download annually. Yes, annually.
This sea change is partially driven by Hip Hop/Rap—a category that significantly over indexes for streaming. Drake was the #1 artist of 2016—-with over 5.4 billion streams of his music played last year.
While all types of streaming are growing, on demand subscription-based increased over 100% last year, while on demand ad-supported was up 14%. Subscriptions now represent 76% of all streaming.
Among paid streaming services, Amazon Prime Music is the largest, with Spotify Premium, Pandora Plus, and Apple Music rounding out the top four. New services are launching rapidly, each with a slightly different subscription model, advertising approach, and set of features.
While streaming services are growing at double and triple digit rates, YouTube remains the king of music. Every month, more people stream music on YouTube than via any dedicated music service.
Sources: BuzzAngle Music 2017, Infinite Dial 2016, Nielsen 2017, Parks Associates 2016