The total number of music streams in the UK increased by 7.9 billion, or just 5.7%, to reach 147.2 billion in 2021 according to BPI, the UK’s leading recorded music trading group.
In comparison, in 2020, the total number of annual audio streams in the UK increased by 25.1 billion compared to 2019. This is the largest year-on-year increase in streams in UK history. United, according to MBW. In 2019, the annual growth was 23.3 billion streams.
This painting by MBW tells the story.
Is the United States next?
MBW cleverly points out that Spotify was launched in the US in 2011, almost three years after its 2008 launch in the UK.
Obviously, the United States is not yet a saturated streaming market. US music streaming revenue grew 26% year-on-year in the first half of 2021, according to the latest data shared by the RIAA.
But will the United States be able to maintain this growth in a year or two?
So far, Spotify and others are also finding plenty of growth opportunities in other global markets, but that has its limits. This is probably why many streamers are rolling out a very robust subscription at half the usual $9.99 (voice-only music plans from Apple and Amazon) or even new free money-losing plans. like those of TIDAL.
Many players in the music industry are concerned that the addition of cheaper and free music offerings will lead to lower revenues for artists and labels.
Bruce Houghton is founder and publisher of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and is senior adviser to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the founder and president of Skyline Artists Agency and a professor at Berklee College Of Music.