It’s quite something to look back at the evolution of how we’ve consumed music over the years to the music subscriptions services. I clearly remember the days when I used to think I was the coolest kid on earth with some new (now old school!) R&B blasting through my earphones. Not to mention the Walkman, which was then deemed portable, crammed into my baggy jeans pocket – some look, ay?
Since then, the streaming of music has come on leaps and bounds to say the least and we now find ourselves with a plethora of options for music subscriptions. Let’s take a closer look at them.
How could I not start with Spotify? To say it changed the game is an understatement. Spotify ended last year with 406 million active users, 180 million of which are premium subscribers paying roughly £10 a month – you don’t have to be Carol Vorderman to know that adds up to A LOT of money. So why did it do so well? It’s largely down to timing, when it arrived in 2008 there was nothing of the sort around and customers (myself included) instantly fell in love with its offering. After spending years ruining your PC with LimeWire, followed by trawling through iTunes to purchase all your tunes, this just seemed like a sensible solution.
The streaming giant has become such an essential to people’s lives and it most recently had to weather a PR storm after it brought the Joe Rogan Experience podcast exclusively to the platform. Weathered is probably the wrong word as it actually thrived, growing 2,000,000 in subscribers as a result. That tells you everything you need to know about this powerhouse.
The words Apple and Music have become synonymous with one another. Initially going all the way back to the first ever iPod, which launched in October 2001 – wow I feel old.
It cost a whopping $399 in the States, which was by no means affordable, however, people still went mad for it. What Apple do as a whole is nothing short of incredible. To put it into context, one billion people have an iPhone – 1,000,000,000! Anyway, this isn’t about the phones, this is about music.
In 2021 Apple announced its music platform had garnered 98 million users, up from 11 million in 2015. Only about 800% then…
Apple also wins on an ‘ethical’ standpoint, given it boasts the highest ‘pay per stream’ figure. Granted it’s only $0.0076, but that’s colossal compared to Spotify which starts at just $0.0026. You could probably call Apple a contender at this stage but can they KO Spotify? It’s a tough ask, but never doubt them.
First of all, did you know Amazon Music actually launched before Spotify? I didn’t! Having said that, it has only started to have a foothold in the world of music subscriptions and streaming as of late. It currently makes up 13% of the Earth’s music subscribers. This number is no doubt given a huge boost by the one and only Alexa – an extra family member in most households today!
It was always a matter of time until Amazon Music hit the big time and the giveaway is in the name. Anything backed by Amazon tends to find success in the end and the multinational company’s patience has paid off. The platform now has 55 million listeners and its paid tier, Amazon Music Unlimited, grew more than 50% in 2020 alone. So, everything indicates that the only way is up for Amazon Music, but can it really challenge Spotify & Apple? I’m not so sure.