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The 20,000 Foot View
Streaming hit a host of milestones in 2015, reaching million subscribers and driving billion of trade revenue, up on 2014. While the competitive marketplace upped the ante, music services wielded curation to drive differentiation. Playlists have always been the core currency of streaming, but now more than ever they are becoming the beating heart, the fuel which drives both discovery and consumption. In doing so they are helping drive hit singles into the ascendancy and albums to the side lines.
Key year olds are the consumers most likely to be listening to less radio and also the most likely to stream ‘Today’s Top Hits’ playlist has million followers and accounted for of all listening time on Spotify in 2015 with around billion streams
‘Today’s Top Hits’ grew at treble the rate of overall streaming in 2015 while major label playlists Topsify, Digster and Filtr drove around half a billion streams
Hits become mega hits on streaming services, with Major Lazer’s ‘Lean On’ generating million for rights owners from Spotify alone in 2015
Seeding tracks into playlists with large followings and relatively slow turnover of tracks is emerging as a business model in its own right
Curated playlists are racing to the fore but user generated playlist penetration remains at decline in frequent creation of user generated playlists appears to be an unintended consequence of the rise of curated of subscribers have stopped buying more than an album a month while have stopped or reduced buying downloads
A fifth of subscribers do not listen to albums as much as when they used to buy them
Just of album streams were from complete album plays in the US and UK in 2015, translating into just billion total albums streamed
With a blended per stream royalty rate of approximately streams generate the same label income as a paid download
But the value of streaming cannot be truly realised by measuring it against incumbent revenue streams
Music subscribers in the US and UK streamed an average of streams each in 2015, averaging streams a week
The average royalty income per album per streaming user is with flowing to the artist and style="line-height: to the songwriterEveryone from artists, through labels to services needs to think more creatively about what works on streaming to create a streaming-native album successor
Companies and services mentioned in this report: Apple Music, Digster, Dubsmash, Filtr, MTV Trax, Musical.ly, MusicQubed, Sony Music, Spotify, Tidal, Topsify, Universal Music, Vevo, Warner Music, YouTube