Analysis

On-demand streams up 40.5% in the US so far in 2017


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There is more fodder for the debate about how the growth of music-streaming consumption compares to its growth in revenues this morning, courtesy of Nielsen in the US.

Its latest figures show that the number of on-demand audio AND video streams in the US in the first nine months of 2017 was up 40.5% year-on-year to 442.44bn streams.

There are a number of data points supporting this acceleration: for example, eight tracks in 2017 have generated more on-demand streams than the 674.4m of Desiigner’s ‘Panda’ did in the comparative period in 2016, when it was the most-streamed track in the US.

You won’t be surprised by the top dog for 2017 so far: ‘Despacito’ reached 1.11bn on-demand streams in the US by the end of September.

With the ‘value gap’ debate around YouTube in full swing, it’s important to compare Nielsen’s video and audio stats. Audio accounted for 287.15bn on-demand streams in the first nine months of this year, while video generated 155.3bn streams – up 59.7% and 15.1% respectively.

We should continue talking about the ‘value gap’ but rightsholders will also be encouraged by what we should perhaps call the ‘growth gap’ between the acceleration of audio and video streams in the US.

Nielsen’s figures come shortly after US industry body the RIAA published its own stats for industry revenues in the first six months of 2017.

Per that report, paid-subscription streaming revenues grew by 61% year-on-year to $1.7bn, while ad-supported streaming revenues grew by 37% to $273m – the latter category including video streams but also income from Spotify’s free tier.

Stuart Dredge

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