April Industry Wrap-Up

April 30, 2018

Amazon Music Subscriber Rate Soars in 2018

Too often we in the music community focus on the ongoing competition between streaming stalwarts Apple Music and Spotify. Quarterly reports continually result in alarm bells going off on both sides, seeming to suggest to everyone in the States, anyway, that there are really only two household names in the music streaming game. Yet we all know better – as a digital distributor that can put your music in over one hundred territories worldwide, the growing popularity of competing streaming platforms keeps everyone on their toes and only stands to benefit artists who get their music onto them.

But as long as we’re talking subscription numbers, Amazon reminded the industry this month not to sleep on their Amazon Music service. Boasting in Billboard that Amazon Music has “tens of millions” of paid customers, with Amazon Music Unlimited subscriptions doubling over six months, why shouldn’t the online retail giant be in the greater conversation more often?

Amazon Music Unlimited was launched last year in an effort to build on the popularity of its Echo smart speakers, causing Steve Boom (Amazon Music’s VP) to suggest that – even as the third largest player in this space – his service will in fact grow faster than everyone else. This year, Boom continues to tout the success of the Echo and how it’s helped introduce users to streaming, providing the ease of controlling a large catalog with your voice.

As we continue to watch the streaming subscription races, independent artists should take stock of what services are rising in popularity. It should directly relate to what kind of store links they’re pushing, what kind attention is paid towards marketing their music on each platform, and how overall their fans prefer to consume their music.

IFPI Reports Major Streaming Growth, Movement in Brazil

The IFPI (or International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, if you’re into words) estimates $17.3 billion was earned in global recorded music revenue last year. Up 8.9% from 2016, the report states that streaming revenues were up 37% year over year (between $6-7 billion). IFPI’s reporting also follows the decline of download revenues and major labels’ share of the market overall.

An interesting point in the report is that Brazil moved up from the #11 to #9 market for music sales, and digital has been the strong push behind it. The Brazilian market appears to have grown almost 18% ($296 million), mainly due to larger revenue shares from interactive streaming. With an estimated 177 million smartphones being used throughout Brazil, it’s not hard to believe.

Streaming platforms have been operating in Brazil for several years now – Deezer and Napster since 2013, Spotify and Google since 2014, and Apple Music since 2015. Deezer’s country manager for Brazil Bruno Vieira said earlier this month, “We are very positive that over time users will adopt the premium model because it offers them the quality and catalogue they want, combined with engaging features, ways to explore music and high-quality sound.”

Brazil continues to face obstacles like low credit card penetration, but as independent artists who have the option to distribute across the globe, this is good news. With more territories adopting streaming and its populations instantly accessing music from their mobile devices, we’re simply looking at more areas of opportunity for promotion and discovery.

Spotify to Offer Free Tier Listeners Access To Playlists

Oh, did we mention that one of the biggest streaming platforms in the world went public this month? You probably don’t need TuneCore’s monthly industry wrap-ups to know that, but Spotify did offer some updates on top of their new stock-ticker-status.

Unveiling a new mobile app, Spotify now allows access to select “official” playlists for users who choose to listen using their “freemium” tier (ad-served). 15 key playlists containing almost 800 tracks will now be offered to those who have yet to join the paid subscription version of the service (that’s 90 millions users), including major names like Discover Weekly and RapCaviar.

Remember that if you’re a TuneCore Artist, you can always submit your new releases for feature consideration across the platforms we service! Just fill out this feature release form at no charge at least three weeks ahead of your next release.

Tags: amazon featuring ifpi music industry playlists spotify