Music now has over 616 million paying streaming subscribers globally

MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a single data point that deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is supported by Cinq Music Group, a technology-driven record label, distribution, and rights management company.

There were 616.2 million subscribers to music streaming services at the end of H1 2022, according to new estimates from Midia Research.

That was up 17.6% – or by 92.3 million – on the 523.9 million global subscribers that Midia counted at the same half-year point of 2021 (see chart below).

And although that YoY subs growth margin (+92.3m) slowed compared to the same increase in the prior year (H1 2020 to H1 2021, +109.5m), it perhaps didn’t decelerate quite as much as many feared… especially amid this year’s wider macroeconomic pressures.

One reason for that, suggests Midia, is China: In Q4 2021, the research firm estimates, Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) overtook Amazon Music to become the third largest DSP globally.

In Q2 2022, says Midia, TME had 82.7 million subscribers, representing a 13.4% global market share.

Midia, in its new Music Subscriber Market Shares report, notes that total net music subscriber additions in the first six months of 2022 (+42.1 million) were down on the +53.8 million added in the prior year period (i.e. the first six months of 2021).

Midia says this deceleration hints “at the slowing global economy”, but also notes that more global music subscribers were added in 2021 than they were in 2020.

Prior to the publication (on Thursday December 7) of Midia’s latest estimate, the previous figure available for global music subscriptions came from global recorded music body IFPI in its Global Music Report in March.

IFPI reported that there were 523 million users of paid subscription accounts at the end of 2021.

Other trends highlighted by Midia for the first half of 2022 were that Spotify, with what Midia estimates to be 187.8 million subscribers in Q2 22, remained by far the largest DSP, but that “its market share has steadily eroded since Q4 20″.

Midia adds that SPOT’s Q2 2022 global share of music streaming subs (30.5%) was down from a high of 33.2% in Q2 2018.

Spotify confirmed at the end of Q2 that it had added 6 million net Premium subscribers to its user base that quarter, taking its total global subs up to 188 million (as of the end of June). SPOT’s total global paying subs audience reached 195 million at the end of Q3 (The three months to end of September).

In terms of Spotify’s rivals in the music streaming market, Amazon Music is estimated by Midia to be the fourth largest DSP globally with 82.2 million subscribers, while YouTube Music is estimated to be the fifth largest with 55.1 million subscribers.

(YouTube announced last month that it had surpassed the milestone of 80 million paid YouTube Music and Premium subscribers worldwide).

For Apple Music, Midia says that the service “continued its long-term trend of underperforming the market”, with an estimated 84.7 million subscribers recording a 13.8% market share, which Midia reports was down 1.2% from Q2 21. 

Midia argues that Spotify’s market share decline “has much to do with the growth of the Chinese market (where Spotify does not operate)”.

Mark Mulligan Midia Research
“The global music subscriber market is approaching a pivot point, with the slowdown in mature, Western markets contrasting with more dynamic growth in other regions.”

Mark Mulligan, Midia

“The global music subscriber market is approaching a pivot point, with the slowdown in mature, Western markets contrasting with more dynamic growth in other regions,” writes Midia’s Mark Mulligan in a blog post.

“It is realistic to assume that the global recession and the organic maturation of the global subscriber market will result in some slowdown of growth in 2023, even if the sector remains otherwise resilient.”

He added: “The slowing growth should be the catalyst for what needs to come next, especially in developed markets: unlocking growth pockets through differentiation.

“Western DSPs have managed to grow with largely undifferentiated product propositions. Music rightsholders should explore creative ways in which they can empower their DSP partners with differentiated content assets to enable them to super-serve specific consumer segments and thus unlock extra growth within them.”

Cinq Music Group’s repertoire has won Grammy awards, dozens of Gold and Platinum RIAA certifications, and numerous No.1 chart positions on a variety of Billboard charts. Its repertoire includes heavyweights such as Bad Bunny, Janet Jackson, Daddy Yankee, T.I., Sean Kingston, Anuel, and hundreds more.Music Business Worldwide

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