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Streaming Wars: Who is Likely to Dominate the Music Streaming Sector in the Years to Come?

The world of music is constantly evolving, especially how we consume it. In the space of 30 years, we have gone from listening to music on records to walkmans to discmans to MP3 players, iPods, and now our phones. Applications have taken over the world of music, and Spotify is the most well-known, followed by Apple Music and a few more players. In this article, we’ll take a look at the facts and figures of the industry, with a more in-depth look into some of Spotify’s competitors fighting it out in what is an extremely competitive industry.

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A Changing World

While the change in how we listen to music has been seismic, it’s not as if this is an outlier. Multiple industries have been turned upside down by the invention of smartphones and apps. Dating and banking are two completely different beasts that spring to mind, with multiple applications disrupting the industry. The same can be said of gambling, which has moved from an in-person activity to an online one. Today, gamers seek the best bingo app in the sector for the chance to play bingo and other games online from wherever they wish. In the music sector, Apple changed everything with the invention of the iPod, but since then, Spotify has taken over. But who are the other players in streaming music?

Alternatives to Spotify

For starters, one of the applications most used worldwide for streaming videos is YouTube. YouTube does have its own streaming platform, aptly named YouTube Music. Much like its premium offering for video streaming, the platform hasn’t become the success YouTube bosses would have hoped for. According to Exploding Topics, 8% of music is streamed through YouTube, not too far behind Apple Music’s 13%.

These percentages may seem small, but when it is a fraction of a multi-billion dollar industry, there is still a lot of profit to be made as music streaming continues to grow. The figures show a year-on-year increase. In 2023, it was estimated the sector was worth over $38 billion; however, by 2031, this is expected to grow to over $115 billion, showing growth of 14% year over year.

Niche Offerings for Music Streaming

Tidal is another competitor in the market, but one that has set itself apart from the competition. They market themselves as a streaming service that offers the highest audio quality on the market, with their website claiming they are ‘artist first and fan-centred’. Currently, however, Tidal hold a very small share of the market at 2%.

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Spotify seems poised to continue its music streaming dominance in the coming years and has already amassed 239 million paid subscribers. With eyes on the future, the company hopes to have 1 billion customers with an annual revenue of $100 billion by 2030. While, they have recently diversified their offering by adding an audiobook product too, which allows listeners to take advantage of a certain number of hours each month. It is because of this growth that their competitors can only look on with hope rather than expectation to overthrow them from their lofty position any time soon.

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