Trade group IFPI's 2016 Global Music Report could also have been titled "Why Apple needed to launch Apple Music." Or "Why Pandora needs to launch a streaming service soon." Streaming services revenue was an estimated $2.9B (+45.2% Y/Y) in 2015 and 19% of global music industry revenue. Download revenue fell 10.5% to $3B (20% of industry revenue).
IFPI estimates 68M people now use streaming subscription services, up from 41M in 2014 and just 8M in 2010. Spotify (MUSIC) recently topped 30M paid subs; Apple Music is above 11M. Pandora (NYSE:P), which has seen active listener growth for its web radio services flatline, is prepping its own subscription offering.
Overall, digital revenue rose 10.2% to $6.7B, and made up 45% of industry revenue. That helped total industry revenue rise 3.2% to $15B, its first significant Y/Y increase (per the IFPI) in nearly 20 years. Welcome news for big-3 music labels Sony (NYSE:SNE), Universal (OTCPK:VIVHY), and Warner Music. Nonetheless, IFPI insists a "value gap" exists that's "depriving artists and labels of a fair return for their work."
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