Anywhere, Anytime: Streaming Driving Mobile Music Growth

Written by Martin Kovacs     30/09/2016 | 14:13 | Category: INDUSTRY

The global mobile music market is on track to reach US$12 billion by 2022, with streaming's share of value to grow from 76 per cent in 2015 to 95 per cent in 2022, Strategy Analytics has forecast.

Anywhere, Anytime: Streaming Driving Mobile Music GrowthStrategy forecasts that over this period the number of users will more than double, reaching 950 million.

Nitesh Patel, Strategy director, wireless media strategies, noted that streaming is "proving a better fit for mobile music than music download stores".

"On the demand-side, the growth in mobile streaming is being driven by increasing consumer demand for anywhere and anytime access to tens of millions of tracks via streaming music services, like Apple Music, Google Play Music, Spotify and YouTube, instead of downloading or side-loading," Patel commented.

Patel stated that "on the supply-side, higher smartphone penetration, as well as competitive data plans offered by operators, including zero-rated and unlimited data plans", are removing consumer data coverage concern when on the move listening to music.

Patel additionally noted that being able to store tracks to listen to while offline "has become an option that appeals to consumers in markets where networks may be patchy, or data cost high, or data allowance low".

Wei Shi, Strategy wireless media strategies analyst and author of the forecast, noted that competition has been driving prices downwards.

"For example, when Apple Music was launched, being a late-comer to the market, it applied a more flexible pricing policy in selected markets to challenge incumbents like Spotify," Shi commented.

"For example, Apple Music's individual subscription priced $0.20 lower than Spotify in Hong Kong, while its family package is more competitive than Spotify's in all the markets served by both."

The majority of streamers use free, ad-funded offers, according to the report, with Stategy expecting it will remain so until the end of the forecast period.

While in markets such as Eastern Europe and Latin America advertising income is already comparable to premium payment, in most advanced markets, such as Western Europe, North America and advanced Asia Pacific, advertising income is still very small, Strategy notes.

Strategy states that "this discrepancy" will continue to see music labels and other rights owners "go for higher licensing fees from OTT services".