Paid-for streaming on course to overtake free services for the first time

Streaming makes it fashionable to pay for music again

5 February 2019: Subscription streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Deezer and YouTube Music are winning the battle to persuade more people to pay to stream music than stream it for free, according to new figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA)

Already more males pay to stream (24.3%) rather than stream for free (23.9%), and more 25-34 year-olds also choose paid-for (34.9%) than free (27.9%). By a narrower margin, the same is now also true for 35-44s and 45-54s (see below).

Overall more people stream for free (21.5%) rather than pay (20.6%), but current trends indicate a final victory for paid-for services could come later this year.

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said, “Ten or 15 years ago popular opinion had it that it was all over for the music business and people would no longer pay for music. These figures are a striking vindication of the innovation and investment of digital services.

The data comes from ERA’s authoritative entertainment survey which every quarter for the past five years has quizzed a panel of 1,500 people on how they consume music video and games, tracking changing service and format preferences.

Said Bayley, “What is all the more remarkable is that the likes of Spotify and YouTube also offer fantastic free services, funded by advertising. These figures suggest that music fans increasingly believe that the added features offered by paid-for services, and the curation which enables them to navigate literally millions of tracks, are definitely worth the money.

“Streaming has made it fashionable to pay for music again.”

The figures indicate that the next battleground for streaming services is female and older music fans.

“Paid-for streaming has clearly yet to reach its full potential,” said Bayley.

HOW PAID IS BEATING FREE IN THE STREAMING MARKET

 

Nov-16

Nov-17

Nov-18

Change +/-%

 

All

 

 

 

 

 

Paid

9.9%

18.3%

20.6%

2.3%

FREE

Free

17.6%

21.7%

21.5%

-0.2%

 

       

 

Males

Nov-16

Nov-17

Nov-18

Change +/-%

 

Paid

11.3%

19.7%

24.2%

4.5%

PAID

Free

19.9%

21.7%

23.9%

2.2%

 

       

 

Females

Nov-16

Nov-17

Nov-18

Change +/-%

 

Paid

8.4%

16.8%

16.8%

0.0%

FREE

Free

14.9%

21.7%

19.1%

-2.6%

 

       

 

Under 25s

Nov-16

Nov-17

Nov-18

Change +/-%

 

Paid

26.2%

53.8%

57.1%

3.3%

PAID

Free

31.8%

64.0%

45.7%

-18.3%

 

       

 

25-44

Nov-16

Nov-17

Nov-18

Change +/-%

 

Paid

23.00%

34.2%

34.97%

0.8%

PAID

Free

33.80%

30.2%

27.87%

-2.3%

 

       

 

35-44

Nov-16

Nov-17

Nov-18

Change +/-%

 

Paid

16.70%

23.9%

26.54%

2.6%

PAID

Free

20.10%

25.6%

24.38%

-1.2%

 

       

 

45-54

Nov-16

Nov-17

Nov-18

Change +/-%

 

Paid

6.70%

14.6%

15.67%

1.0%

FREE

Free

15.00%

15.1%

17.00%

1.9%

 

       

 

55+

Nov-16

Nov-17

Nov-18

Change +/-%

 

Paid

3.30%

4.5%

7.20%

2.7%

FREE

Free

12.10%

10.7%

14.90%

4.2%

 

Paid1 - Paid Single License; Paid Family License; Student Discount License; Bundled with Other Paid-For Service.

Free2 - Ad-funded; Free Trials; Family License Paid for by Someone Else.

ENDS

ERA CEO Kim Bayley is available for interview

For more information please contact ERA on 0207 440 1595

 

About ERA

 

ERA is the trade association representing the vast majority of retailers and digital services offering music, video and games. Its members range from independent record shops (Reflex, Sister Ray) to digital services (Spotify, Google, Sky, Deezer, 7digital) to internet retailers (Amazon) to specialist High Street operators (HMV, Game) and supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons) 

ERA members supply the sales data which powers the Official Charts Company (music and video charts) and GfK Chart-Track (videogames). Together with record companies trade association the BPI, it owns the Official Charts Company. 

ERA provides the organisational force behind Record Store Day, the annual celebration of independent record stores which has become the most successful new music industry promotion of the past two decades. 

ERA works closely with its sister organisations in music, video and games and is a strong proponent of open markets, open standards and consumer choice.

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