Do you have a Spotify account? Does everyone you know have a Spotify account? It certainly seems that way some times. Streaming music is becoming ever more popular, as has been seen by a 26% year-on-year growth in 2021, lead by Google’s popular video platform, YouTube.

A study released by Midia Research shows that worldwide streaming subscriptions grew by 26.4% in the second quarter of 2021. This makes a total of 521.3 million subscribers at the end of that period. That is an increase of 109.5 million from the year before.


Streaming Music Platform Winners

Spotify continued to have the highest market share among streaming services. A 31% share dwarfed its nearest competitor, the 15% claimed by the nearest runner-up, Apple Music. With Spotify adding more subscribers than any other service in the 12 months leading up to the middle of 2021, “there is no risk of Spotify losing its leading position anytime soon,” wrote Midia Research’s Mark Mulligan.

However, there has been a decrease. Spotify had a 33% share at the same time a year before and 34% in 2019. So what is changing?

The Rise of YouTube

Midia Research suggests that it’s YouTube Music that is slowly changing the tide. Though currently still owning only a modest share of the market – just 8% – the platform has grown by more than 50% during the 2020-to-2021 Q2 period. However, on a global scale there’s much more to consider than just Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. Two services that are only available in China, Tencent Music Entertainment and NetEase Cloud Music, together account for 18% of the global streaming market.

These two platforms combined added 35.7 million subscribers during the 12 months measured. This means that Tencent now has a 13% share of the worldwide market, and NetEase is at 6%.

Midia Research’s report makes note that the 26.4% growth in subscribers doesn’t necessarily mean a big an increase in revenue. The reason for this is two-fold. Here in the west a number of multi-user account incentives mean lower revenue per user acquired, and emerging markets have a lower spend during onboarding processes.

The full report is only available to Midia subscribers, but Mulligan’s summary, and an accompanying pie chart showing the market share of the different services, can be found at Music Industry Blog.

Categories: Music Tech