Audio streaming refers to the one-way audial content transmission in compressed form through the internet and retrieved and played as per the users’ convenience and time, without the requirement of downloading. These services enable content audibility without consuming additional storage space providing access to millions of songs as per the users’ choice, which is expected to be among the prominent factors fueling market growth.
Advent of streaming media delivery services in conjunction with high speed internet connectivity is expected to drive market growth
This technology aids consumers to gain legal access to high quality content with minimal subscription costs and may even be provided as a complimentary service over a defined service period. Proliferation of smartphones and high speed Internet technology such as 3G, 4G, and LTE networks, has led to easy access to media services for entertainment purposes. These services offer access to millions of songs with uninterrupted access, increasing consumer preference towards on-demand products and services through smartphone apps, coupled with innovative services such as providing individual preferences and personalized playlist options. This is expected to aid in growth of the market through the forecast period.
Audio Streaming Market Taxonomy
On the basis of platform, the global audio streaming market is classified into:
- Laptops & desktops
On the basis of end services, the global audio streaming market is classified into:
- Subscription based services
- Ad-supported services
Increasing consumer inclination toward paid services to access high-quality and exclusive content is expected to support market growth
Ad supported services accounted for the largest user share in the market in 2016. However, subscription based services was the largest revenue generating segment in the audio streaming market. Moreover, consumers in developed economies prefer premium content with paid subscription as against free services. Requirement to capitalize on this opportunity, industry participants are increasingly focusing on paid services as a part of their offerings. This is expected to help industry participants in establishing strong foothold in the global audio streaming market. For instance, in March 2017, Pandora launched its premium subscription tier, that could play from a curated list of tracks, and provided tailored music lists with respect to consumer preferences.
Growing piracy of the licensed content is expected to be a challenge for the industry growth
Revenue generated from these streaming technologies is expected to witness considerable surge. However, market is expected to face significant challenges from growing piracy across the globe, specifically in emerging economies. Moreover, low profit margins, licensing related expenditure & efforts and growing competition owing to high threats from new entrants are expected to consistently hinder the overall audio streaming market growth.
North America held the largest audio streaming market share in 2016, and is expected to witness considerable growth prospects over the forecast period
U.S. accounted for the largest share in 2016, owing to presence of large number of chief participants in the region. Moreover, consumers in the country are increasingly inclined towards these services, owing to regulated availability of music content. Other developed economies that are anticipated to witness high growth over the forecast include Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and South Korea. Emerging economies in South Asia, primarily China and Hong Kong are expected to showcase double digit CAGR over the forecast period (2018–2026). These growth prospects can be attributed to highly developed music streaming market in China, increasing stringency of regulations to reduce piracy, and growing spending capacity of the users in these regions. According to IFPI Recording Industry report in 2015, around 75% of the overall revenue of recorded music in China was obtained from audio streaming.
Players are increasingly adopting various off-the-shelf business strategies such as providing services in conjunction with mobile subscriptions, providing enhanced music management and preferences, and diversifying applications to strengthen their foothold in the audio streaming market. Major industry participants in this market include Apple Inc., Deezer, Alphabet Inc., Guvera Ltd., Hungama.com Pvt. Ltd., Microsoft Corp., Pandora Media Inc., Rhapsody International Inc., Saavn, LLC, Slacker Inc., and Spotify.