Business News Digital

Spotify still the clear market leader in premium streaming, although its market share is slipping

By | Published on Wednesday 19 January 2022


Spotify is still by far the biggest premium music streaming service, although its lead has slipped slightly over the last two years. That’s according to the latest report on the music streaming market from entertainment industry consultancy MIDiA, which was published last month and key figures from which have now been shared in a blog post on the company’s website.

The new report estimates that there were 523.9 million people paying to access music streaming services across the world by the end of Q2 2021, an impressive 26.4% increase on Q2 2020.

In terms of specific services, MIDiA calculates that Spotify accounts for 31% of those premium streamers. That’s down from 33% at the same point in 2020, and 34% in 2019.

However, it is still by far the biggest player, accounting for more of the market than its closest two competitors – Apple and Amazon – combined. MIDiA says that they respectively boast 15% and 13% market share in terms of subscriber numbers.

When it comes to subscriber growth rates, Amazon is out-performing Spotify, as it pushes out its music services to more mainstream consumers and owners of its Alexa-powered devices. Although, among the global platforms, YouTube Music has seen the most impressive growth of late, scoring 50% growth between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021, resulting in it increasing its overall market share.

Also scoring impressive growth are some of the regional services that dominate in certain emerging markets, including the Tencent and NetEase services in China, and Yandex’s music service in Russia.

Most of the regional services have generally had much bigger userbases for their free services to date, but Tencent, NetEase and Yandex are all now doing a decent job of upselling their premium packages. According to MIDiA’s maths, the Tencent services now account for 13% of global subscribers, with NetEase at 6% and Yandex at 2%.

As MIDiA’s Mark Mulligan points out in the new blog post on the report, market growth in terms of subscriber numbers doesn’t directly correlate to market growth in terms of revenue, because the former is often boosted by bundling, family plans and emerging market sign-ups, all of which reduce the average revenue per user on a global basis.

However, the music industry’s strategy for years has been to convert as many consumers as possible to premium packages, and these stats show that is still being achieved, despite growth inevitably slowing in some of the more mature markets, where most of the people who are going to sign up for a standard music streaming package have already done so.

And, of course, in revenue terms, the digital music market is evolving, with ad-funded services – and in particular user-generated content and video-sharing platforms – starting to account for a more significant percentage of the industry’s overall digital income.

You can buy the new MIDiA report here and read Mulligan’s blog post here.