eMarketer is reporting that while more people are tuning in to ad-based user upload services, subscription services are the ones bringing in the revenue. Spotify, TIDAL and other streaming music sites continue to grow their subscriber bases. An April 2016 report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) shows that in 2015, subscriptions boomed in the streaming music service industry.
IFPI estimated that there were 68 million streaming music service subscribers in 2015 (up 45.2% from 2014’s 41 million). At the same time, ad-supported user upload services like YouTube or Soundcloud remain massively popular across the globe. IFPI estimates that there were nearly 1 billion listeners worldwide in 2015. To set up the contrast: streaming subscription services brought in $2 billion in 2015 while sites like YouTube brought in about $630 million.
A January 2016 report by Nielsen revealed that for U.S. consumers, cost of subscription service was both the leading attractive element—83% of those who use streaming music services cited cost as a leading reason—and detriment. Nearly half of those surveyed say they don’t subscribe because subscriptions are too expensive.