Streaming comes on stream
Expect streaming to boom in 2015 with tech giants Apple and YouTube set to launch new services and lean on their huge consumer reach, writes Steve Mullins. And on a smaller scale, Jay-Z, fresh from his purchase of music outfit Aspiro, is reportedly planning to leverage the acquisition’s Tidal high-definition streaming platform to develop an ‘artist-centric’ service on the back of Aspiro’s existing TidalHiFi product – that means high-resolution music with a larger cut of revenues for musicians than currently offered by Spotify and Pandora. Early sign-ups include the likes of spouse Beyoncé, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Nikki Minaj and Jack White.
The digital music story is starting to get interesting. US digital revenue totalled $4.5 billion in 2014, up 3.2% from the previous as physical music continued to slide - sales dropped 7.1% to $2.27 billion, according to the RIAA. But as digital music revenues spiked, downloads took a tumble, sliding 9.5% over the year, with all growth coming from the streaming side, which was up a whopping 29%, though that’s on a small base.
The value of paid steaming subscriptions totalled almost $800 million, from 7.7 million subs, up from $639 million via 6.2 million subs in 2013, while advertising-supported streaming revenues rose 34% to $295 million.