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Report: there were 400m music subscribers globally at end of Q1 2020


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There were 341 million people using paid music subscriptions at the end of 2019, according to global music industry body the IFPI. Now we’ve got an update on that figure, albeit from a different source.

Consultancy firm Midia Research has published its music subscriber market share figures for Q1 2020, claiming that by the end of March there were 400 million music subscribers globally.

By Midia’s reckoning, that’s year-on-year growth of 30%, with 93 million net new music subscribers added since the end of March 2019. In his blog post, MD Mark Mulligan noted that this is an acceleration in growth, since the prior 12-month period had seen 77 million net new subs.

(Note: we’re nearly at the end of Q2 2020 now. If the rate of growth had continued – a big assumption, given the uncertainties around the Covid-19 pandemic – the global total should be past 420 million at the time of writing.)

Midia has also broken down those 400 million subscribers by service, with these percentage estimates:

– Spotify: 32%
– Apple Music: 18%
– Amazon Music: 14%
– Tencent Music: 11%
– Google Play / YouTube Music: 6%
– Deezer: 2%
– Pandora: 1%
– Others: 16%

We’ve turned those percentage shares into subscriber numbers – 32% of 400m, 18% of 400m etc – which yields these estimates:

– Spotify: 128 million (although the company’s official Q1 figure was 130 million)
– Apple Music: 72 million
– Amazon Music: 56 million
– Tencent Music: 44 million (TME’s official Q1 figure was 42.7 million ‘paying users’)
– Google Play / YouTube Music: 24 million
– Deezer: eight million
– Pandora: four million (Pandora’s official Q1 figure was 6.2 million)
– Others: 64 million

(We suspect rounding to neat percentages is the reason for some of those differences to the officially-declared figures.)

In terms of trends, Midia notes that “Spotify’s market share has remained between 32% and 34% every quarter since 2015” despite intensifying competition. It estimates that in the last year, Apple Music’s share has dropped by three percentage points; Amazon Music’s has grown by one point; and Google/YouTube’s has grown by three – doubling its share in a year.

“We are starting to see some genuine segmentation taking place, which is a real achievement given that most of the services have to operate with the same catalogue and pricing,” wrote Mulligan.

“YouTube Music is resonating with Gen Z and younger Millennials. Amazon Music is bringing older audiences to subscriptions. Spotify and Apple Music are the mainstream options. Deezer is enjoying success in emerging markets – Brazil especially – with pre-pay mobile bundles.”

The company sees the growth in subscribers as in “rude health”, but warns that average revenue per user, and indeed overall streaming revenues, are not growing as fast.

Stuart Dredge

Read More: Data News
One response
  • Jason Gold says:

    This is the best comprehensive, up to date global study I’ve yet seen about current music subscribers. Do you have any idea what the total current subscribers for TIDAL is? Thank you and keep up the wonderful work!

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