Recently the Financial Times reported reported that Apple Music has surpassed 10 million subscribers, and seven-year old market leader Spotify stating that the company had seen unchallenged subscriber growth in the second half of 2015. Current estimates have Spotify’s subscriber base between 25 and 30 million, and total monthly listeners using Spotify’s ad-supported free tier topping out between 75 and 100 million listeners.
Market research leader Nielsen also published its year-end report on the U.S. music industry further validating that streaming music is again seeing the largest growth during the past 12 months. While Nielsen omitted Apple Music from its count most likely for the sake of comparability, the firm showed an increase of 92.8 percent in on-demand streams in 2015, to 317 billion, from the prior year’s total.
And of course the increasing popularity of streaming came at the expense of other market segments. CD album sales and album downloads declined by 11 and 3 percent, respectively, and digital track sales dropped by 12 percent. Surprisingly the only other format that is rising in popularity is vinyl. The format of analog music lovers continued its comeback with a 29 percent increase in LP sales.