Some fascinating new stats about what’s going on in the world of streaming

Streaming is big and getting bigger. Here’s the latest.

  • Thanks to the pandemic, the number of subscriptions–people actually paying for Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal or whatever–has risen 35% year-over-year. That’s the pandemic at work.
  • Spotify is in the lead with 35% of all paid subscriptions, followed by Apple with 19%, Amazon Music at 15%, China’s Tencent with 11% (and that’s mostly just in China), and YouTube Music with 6%. The remaining 14% is divided up amongst Napster, Deezer, Tidal, Quboz, and the rest of them.
  • 1.6 million artists have made their music available to stream over the past year.
  • About 1%–16,000 artists–suck up 90% of all streams.
  • Expand that to 10%–160,000 artists–and you can account for 99.4% of all streams. That leaves just 0.6% for the remaining 1.44 million artists. No wonder so many have trouble making money from streaming.

Meanwhile, Spotify is busy with a couple of things.

  • One of the big knocks against Spotify is that they’re missing a chance to get into High-Resolution Audio in order to appeal to audiophiles. Tidal, Deezer, and a couple of others already offer this. But now we hear that Spotify is looking at something they call “3D Audio.” This isn’t any kind of surround-sound format, but one with greater resolution (i.e. higher bitrates) and greater spatial perceptions.
  • Spotify is also tweaking its algorithms to include a “nostalgia” component. It will look at your age and listening history and then recommend older songs it believes will trigger some nostalgia in you.

Read more here, here and 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.

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