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Amazon famously keeps its cards close to its chest in terms of how its Amazon Music streaming service is growing, although in January 2020 it broke its silence to announce that it had “more than 55 million customers globally” of whom the vast majority were paying subscribers.

Now there is some new external data suggesting that in one of the world’s biggest music markets, Amazon Music is continuing to grow rapidly. Research firm Kantar’s latest report claims that in the final quarter of 2021, 45% of people signing up to a music streaming service in the UK chose one of Amazon’s – well ahead of the 21% who chose second-placed Spotify.

“The gap between UK consumers with a Spotify account and an Amazon Prime Music or Amazon [Music] Unlimited has shrunk over the last 12 months from 13 to 5 percentage points,” explained Mediatel in its report on the Kantar data. “Currently, 53% of UK consumers with a music-streaming subscription have a Spotify account, compared to 48% with either of Amazon’s music streaming platforms.”

This is just one country of course, albeit the third biggest in the world. In the absence of an updated Amazon announcement, the most recent estimate of global Amazon Music subscribers came from Midia Research last month. It claimed that at the end of June 2021 Amazon accounted for 13% of the world’s music subscribers – around 68 million people.

There’s something else in Kantar’s data that the music industry will be thinking about, however: a prediction that almost one million Brits are “planning to cancel at least one of their premium subscription music-on-demand services”.

While some of the spurs for this are local – an upcoming increase in national insurance taxes and an anticipated huge spike in energy bills – the suggestion that streaming subscriptions are vulnerable to such economic headwinds may send a shiver down the spines of DSPs and rightsholders alike well beyond the UK.

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