Music streaming continues to grow around the world. According to a new media report, an entertainment research firm, 523.9 million people subscribed to a music streaming service globally in Q2 2021. This represents an increase of 109.5 million (26.4%) from the year before.
While Spotify remains the most subscribed streaming service with 31% of the market, its dominance is declining very slowly – it held 33% of the market in 2020 and 34% in 2019. Spotify added more subscribers in the previous year for the second quarter of 2021 than its competitors, but while Spotify grew 20%, Amazon Music grew 25%. Meanwhile, Google’s YouTube Music grew by more than 50% in the year leading up to Q2 2021, becoming the only Western streamer to increase its overall global market share. Chinese gaming giant Tencent, which operates Tencent Music, has the same market share percentage as Amazon Music.
Image credits: MEDIA
Amazon Music and Apple Music’s market share could continue to grow – as this report only covers Q2 2021, it won’t show the impact of lossless audio coming to Amazon and Apple in May. Nearly a year ago, Spotify teased that it would launch a high-end subscription called Spotify Hi-Fi, which would give subscribers their music in a “lossless, CD-quality audio format.” But Spotify I haven’t said yet when this product may be available.
And then there’s Tidal, which has historically targeted consumers looking for a high-quality audio experience. While Tidal’s lossless audio level is $9.99 a month – the same cost as Apple Music and just two dollars a month more than Amazon Music – Tidal has less than 2% of the market share. global, according to the MIDIA report. Founded by Jay-Z and later acquired by Block, Tidal markets itself as a service that helps artists share their music “exactly as the artist intended” (ie with extremely good audio quality).
But under Block’s ownership, the idea of an artist-friendly streaming service isn’t just about sound — now, the company is experimenting with ways to make streaming music more profitable for artists. Earlier this year, Tidal introduced fan-centric royalties on its top tier HiFi Plus ($19.99/mo), meaning 10% of a user’s subscription will go directly to their most listened to artists.
Will this change help Tidal gain new subscribers who care about paying artists more than master quality audio? It’s a worthy attempt – after all, user-centric payment streamer Deezer has 2% of the pie, which is more than Tidal.