Streaming music services such as Apple Music have completely taken over the music market, a new report from the Recording Industry Association of America makes clear.
The organization notes that streaming now accounts for a massive 80% of the music market in the United States. That’s up from a minuscule 7% a decade ago in 2010. In the first half of 2019, 61 million people in the US had streaming subscriptions.
Neither Spotify or Apple Music were available in the United States a decade ago. Spotify launched in 2011. Apple Music lagged slightly behind by launching in 2014. Today, both dominate the streaming market. Last time Apple released subscriber figures for Apple Music, it reported upward of 60 million paid subscribers worldwide. Spotify, meanwhile, has 113 million paid subscribers worldwide.
The rise of smartphones over the past decade has played a crucial part of the streaming music picture. In 2010, around 35% of Americans had a smartphone. Today, that figure is around 81%. Because so many people listen to music on their phones, the increased number of smartphones has helped the rise of streaming.
Physical sales of music accounted for 52% of the music market in the United States in 2010. Digital sales, meanwhile, were 38% of the US market. Today, both are around 9% each.
From iTunes to Apple Music
One final reminder of how much things have changed in the past decade can be seen by looking at iTunes.
In February 2010, the iTunes Store officially became the largest music vendor worldwide. That represented a major success for Apple. That month, iTunes sold its 10 billionth song. Here in 2010, the iTunes brand is more or less vanished completely. MacOS Catalina sounded the death knell by splitting iTunes into multiple applications, each focused on a different type of content. There’s Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Books and Apple Podcasts.
Fortunately, Apple’s managed to move with the times and embrace streaming.
Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what the next decade will mean for the way we consume music?