Global Music Streaming Has Finally Surpassed NETFLIX in Paying Subscribers

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For the first time in its history, statistics have finally put one of the several deflating facts about the extent of the global music streaming business to rest, for the time being at least.

Despite having gained immense popularity in the last half-a-decade, and superseded almost every other streaming service in terms of total number of paying subscribers, global music streaming has nonetheless remained behind Netflix, the ultra-popular TV and movie streaming service.

For instance, during the end of 2015, IFPI, the global body that reports statistics on recorded music, declared the fact music streaming services such as Apple Music (which was then new having been launched in June the same year) and Spotify has gained over 68m paid subscribers. The celebrations were soon quashed by Netflix, which revealed to its investors that it had earned an envious figure of 71m in the same time period.

But not anymore.

Later last year, streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, among countless others finally got the top spot in the highest figure of paid subscribers, in spite of the immense success enjoyed by Netflix with the likes of the star-cast royal drama The Crown and the science fiction series Stranger Things.

Well-respected body Midia has recently reported as of the end of 2016, the number of people paying for music streaming subscriptions were an outstanding 100.4m.

Mark Mulligan, who works for the company has estimated within this figure, 43m people were subscribing to Spotify, with 20.9m to Apple Music, 6.9m were paying to Deezer, 4.5m people to Napster, approximately 1m to TIDAL, with the rest subscribing to minor streaming services.

And in what is being considered a ground-breaking record, this 100.4m subscription base figure has risen by an impressive 48% year-on-year since the 2015 declaration made by IFPI (68m).

In the meantime, Netflix, in spite of a string of phenomenally successful shows over 87.8m paying subscribers as of end-2016 – rising from its Q4 2015 number (70.8m) by 24% – about half of that of streaming services.

But despite all being said and done, there are other aspects of Netflix’s business which might just catch up to the music streaming industry’s phenomenal subscriber base figure. Forecasting a turnover of $2.34bn in its Fourth Quarter in streaming subscribers, Netflix is following its first ever $2bn+ quarterly revenue of its Third Quarter.

Netflix has declared that it expects to have booked $8.28bn in revenue from streaming throughout 2016.

Needless to say, Netflix shows no signs of slowing down, having earned a net income of $52m in the second quarter, and $41 million dollars in the first. It therefore earned a total profit of $119.9m in the course of nine months.

As opposed to that, Spotify’s total annual revenue as of 2015 (the last reported year) was just $2.18bn, earning an annual net loss of $194m.

Add to that the fact that Amazon’s Prime video platform, along with subscribing video Amazon Prime itself – has a subscriber base figure of over 77m. Which means that Amazon and Netflix have a combined paying audience figure that stands far more than Apple, Deezer, Spotify, Napster and all other music streaming service combined.

But for now, we can celebrate that streaming business rules.

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