Lockdown isn't stopping U.S. spending on streaming music services

Coronavirus lockdown isn’t stopping U.S. spending on streaming music services


Streaming services like Apple Music dominate the US music market
Looks like Apple picked the right time to pivot to focus on Services.
Photo: Apple

The coronavirus-induced lockdown is affecting huge parts of the service economy. However, one area it doesn’t seem to be negatively impacting in the U.S. is the streaming music market.

According to a report from Music Business Weekly, published Monday, streaming music service subscriptions are not only not slowing down right now; in some cases they’re actually increasing.

Music Business Weekly reports that Apple Music subscriptions’s global subscriber base grew “comfortably” in March 2020 compared to the month before.

While Apple hasn’t published official adoption figures for some time, if accurate this suggests that Apple Music could be making up some of the shortfall suffered by other areas like falling MacBook sales. Last time Apple announced Apple Music subscribers it was June 2019. At the time, Apple Music had around 60 million active users.

Music Business Weekly draws on another recent report, published over the weekend by the New York Times. It shares data from Earnest Research, tracking the credit and debit card purchases of almost six million people in the United States. The data compared spending for the week ending April 1 with the same retail week one year earlier.

The right time to switch to Services

Spending on movie theaters was down 100%, while spend on toys, books, physical music and sporting goods has all declined by more than 50% year-on-year in terms of value. Streaming music subscriptions is up, however. Consumer spending on services like Apple Music and Spotify Premium is increased by just over 20% during that same time period.

That streaming music is on the rise isn’t enormously surprising in itself. It also makes total sense that people trapped at home would splurge on music services. But at a time when other consumer spending is plummeting, it’s a ray of hope for the likes of Apple.

Combined with the fact that video services are experiencing a boon in popularity, and folks are spending more than ever in the App Store, Apple’s shift to focusing on Services seems like it came at just the right time.

How have your own spending habits changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic? Let us know in the comments below.


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