Despite the brunt felt by the global music industry on the back of the covid-19 pandemic which brought about massive cancellation of live events which saw huge ticket sales dropping significantly amid the lockdown, recent data from BuyShares show that the total revenues from global music streaming is projected to hit $23 billion in 2021, rising by 50 per cent in comparison to the pre-COVID numbers.
Now that revenue earnings from live music events have shrunk to the lowest levels in history, artists are increasingly relying on the income from streaming platforms.
Prior to the pandemic, the music streaming market saw impressive growth with its revenues surging by a cumulative annual growth rate of 20 per cent year over year. Thus, in 2017, the total market was valued at $10.5 billion and then rose to $15.2 billion two years later, data from Statista showed. Nevertheless, in 2020, music streaming platforms saw the biggest annual revenue growth resulting from the halt of live music events. Statista data revealed that revenues in 2020 surged by almost 30 per cent year on year to $19.7 billion.
However, the ongoing lockdown is expected to continue as a driving factor to the rise in music streaming consumption with its revenues growing by another $3.3 billion in 2021 and also expected to reach $33.3 billion in four years time. Similarly, the statistic also shows that the number of users on the music streaming platforms rose also in the face of the pandemic and jumped to 626.2 million in 2021 from 425.6 million in 2019 with more than 900 million users expected to use music streaming services in the next four years globally.
As the biggest music service globally, Spotify rose to 345 million monthly active users and 155 million premium subscribers as of December 2020 and jumping 25 per cent within 12 months. With its launch in other countries including Nigeria who has over 170 million music lovers, the number of users on the platform is expected to witness significant growth in 2021 and beyond. While Apple has yet to comment on its subscriber counts since June 2019 when it reached 60 million users, estimates from MIDiA Research put Apple Music subscribers at 72 million in 2020, or half the Spotify count.
The United States, which is also known as the world’s largest music streaming market, is expected to reach 100.7 million users and $8.7 billion in revenue in 2021, a 16.6 per cent increase in a year. While the Chinese market as ranked as the second-largest market globally is forecast to grow by 20 per cent year on year to hit $2.2 billion value this year, almost four times less than the leader, the US. Nevertheless, with 177.7 million users in 2021, the country has the largest number of people using music streaming services globally.
According to Hootsuite’s Digital 2021 Report, more than 81 per cent of surveyed internet users in China testified listening to music streaming services last year.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom ranked as the third-largest music streaming market with $1.4 billion in revenue in the year 2021.