July Industry Wrap-Up

July 31, 2018

France and U.S. See Uptick in Music Streams Across The Board

We’re always excited to report on developments and advancements in the music streaming world, and in July, we were not disappointed!

Let’s start with France: with recorded music sales numbers from the first half of 2018 in, it’s been announced that the major music market saw a 39% increase in on-demand streaming from last year. That means 56% of France’s total market. Streaming platforms that independent artists have access to distributing to accounted for 27 billion streams so far this year, up 33% from 2017’s 19.4 billion half-year streams.

Music Ally points out that French rap/hip hop is a major driver behind this growth, with 16 out of the 20 highest selling/streaming albums in France falling into that genre for the first half of 2018. Between younger consumers flexing their financial muscle and the overall progression of genres like hip hop, this data offers a window for independent artists everywhere to take a look at new promotional efforts outside of their home territories.

Moving across the pond to TuneCore’s HQ country, the U.S. saw an equally impressive jump in on-demand audio streams: a 45% rise (268 billion in H1 2018). This was piggybacked by 35% increase in on-demand video streaming volume. It’s worth noting that hip hop and R&B played a strong role over here, too – accounting for 31% of total-album-equivalent volume for the first half of 2018.

Given the recent years’ increases in on-demand streaming overall, this news might not come as a major surprise to some in the industry, but for independent artists, it should quite frankly motivate! With the amount of access to streaming platforms and methods of promotions increasing, there’s never been a better time to reach fans in and out of your own market.

Apple Music Gains on Spotify’s Subscription Count

While TuneCore holds our friends at Apple Music and Spotify in equally high regard as fantastic platforms for discovery and streaming, there’s no denying the industry’s fixation on their subscriber race, both in the U.S. and beyond. We’ve talked about it here on the monthly industry wrap-up from time to time, and July held some more news on it.

According to sources reported to Digital Music News this month, Apple Music has allegedly topped Spotify in paying subscribers in the U.S. While Spotify has traditionally been able to boast higher subscription numbers overall, this was largely in part not only to their entrance to the market, but also their ‘Freemium’ memberships – meaning subscribers can access music across the platform, but they’re served audio ads between streams. Both platforms are seeing a little over 20 million paying subscribers in the U.S., with Apple Music “just a hair ahead.”

DMN notes that the results can be referenced back to a February article in The Wall Street Journal, wherein it was reported that Apple’s U.S. subscriber growth rate was at 5%, while Spotify’s remained at 2%. (Spotify has 83 million paid Premium subscribers worldwide.)

For independent artists, maybe not all too much has changed. What remains is clear: diversifying your promotional efforts and engagement on these platforms is as critical as ever.

YouTube Hits New Milestone For Logged-In Users

Oh, and the growth stories in July of 2018 continue.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that the video and music streaming giant has reached 1.9 billion logged-in users each month. That’s pretty huge! It’s a milestone that puts them up from 1.5 billion from just last month, and Wojcicki also reported that users are watching (on average) over 180 millions hours of YouTube content every day.

Remember, YouTube rolled out it’s new service, YouTube Music, just a couple months back, and shows no signs of stopping in terms of how it reaches viewers/listeners, while paying out to independent artists. We’ll have to sit back and see what’s next for YouTube, but these numbers are always a constant reminder of the ways you can take advantage of the platform to engage with fans and make money.

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