22% of Canadians subscribe to a streaming music service. Here’s why that’s a problem.

According to SOCAN, Canadians performance rights collective, says that 7.8 million Canadians subscribe to some kind of streaming music service. A quick bit of math says that this represents 22% of all Canadians. That represents a growth of 31.2% from 2018 to 2019.

On the surface, that sounds pretty good–until you realize that views of on-demand video songs (i.e. music videos on YouTube) grew 59.7%. Why’s that a problem? Simple. How many people pay for YouTube?

This is known as the “value gap,” the difference between the music people consume and the music people are willing to pay for.

According to Music Canada, “35% of respondents to a 2018 IFPI survey cited the availability on YouTube of the music they want as a major reason for not using paid audio subscription services.”

Given that you can access Spotify for free in exchange for listening to a few ads, this is concerning. Remember that even if you use the free tier, artists get paid. User-uploaded music videos on YouTube also pay out, but not nearly as much.

Canadians are cheap when it comes to music. Or thrifty. Take your pick.

Read more about Canadian music consumer habits here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “22% of Canadians subscribe to a streaming music service. Here’s why that’s a problem.

  • March 3, 2020 at 11:22 am

    It’s probalby due to the fact no one can afford anything in this country. Everything is to expensive. Paying for streaming is a luxury when your buying $200 worth of gorciers every week for a family of 4.


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