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Paid Streaming Will Surpass Free This Year [Survey]

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(Hypebot) Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and other paid music streaming services hare doing a better job of converting free users to paid, according to new figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA). “Streaming has made it fashionable to pay for music again.”

Already more males pay to stream music – 24.3% paid vs. 23.9% free, and more 25-34 year-olds pay 34.9% vs. 27.9% free. By narrower margins 35-44’s and 45-54’s also aren’t adverse to paying to stream music, according to the EU based trade group.

That leaves only under 25’s and 55 and older favoring free music services.  When combined, overall more people stream for free (21.5%) rather than pay (20.6%).  But if current trends hold, paid streaming will overtake free later this year and continue to grow.

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said, “Ten or 15 years ago popular opinion had it that it was all over for the music business and people would no longer pay for music. These figures are a striking vindication of the innovation and investment of digital services.”

“What is all the more remarkable is that the likes of Spotify and YouTube also offer fantastic free services, funded by advertising,” he continued. “These figures suggest that music fans increasingly believe that the added features offered by paid-for services, and the curation which enables them to navigate literally millions of tracks, are definitely worth the money.

The stats indicate that the next battleground for streaming services is female and older music fans.

  Nov-16 Nov-17 Nov-18 Change +/-%  
Paid 9.9% 18.3% 20.6% 2.3% FREE
Free 17.6% 21.7% 21.5% -0.2%
Males Nov-16 Nov-17 Nov-18 Change +/-%  
Paid 11.3% 19.7% 24.2% 4.5% PAID
Free 19.9% 21.7% 23.9% 2.2%
Females Nov-16 Nov-17 Nov-18 Change +/-%  
Paid 8.4% 16.8% 16.8% 0.0% FREE
Free 14.9% 21.7% 19.1% -2.6%
Under 25s Nov-16 Nov-17 Nov-18 Change +/-%  
Paid 26.2% 53.8% 57.1% 3.3% PAID
Free 31.8% 64.0% 45.7% -18.3%
25-44 Nov-16 Nov-17 Nov-18 Change +/-%  
Paid 23.00% 34.2% 34.97% 0.8% PAID
Free 33.80% 30.2% 27.87% -2.3%
35-44 Nov-16 Nov-17 Nov-18 Change +/-%  
Paid 16.70% 23.9% 26.54% 2.6% PAID
Free 20.10% 25.6% 24.38% -1.2%
45-54 Nov-16 Nov-17 Nov-18 Change +/-%  
Paid 6.70% 14.6% 15.67% 1.0% FREE
Free 15.00% 15.1% 17.00% 1.9%
55+ Nov-16 Nov-17 Nov-18 Change +/-%  
Paid 3.30% 4.5% 7.20% 2.7% FREE
Free 12.10% 10.7% 14.90% 4.2%

Paid1 – Paid Single License; Paid Family License; Student Discount License; Bundled with Other Paid-For Service.

Free2 – Ad-funded; Free Trials; Family License Paid for by Someone Else.


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