A report released Wednesday revealed global figures for the music streaming services market based on the second quarter of 2021. Spotify dominated the music streaming space, while Apple Music was a distant second.
According to the report by MIDiA Research, the global base of music subscribers continues to grow strongly with 523.9 million music subscribers at the end of Q2 2021, which was up by 109.5 million (26.4%) from the same period in 2020.
Spotify has highest market share at 31% (162.4 million subscribers), but this was down from 33% in Q2 2020 and 34% in Q2 2019. With Apple Music coming in second with 15% market share (78.6 million subscribers), and Spotify adding more subscribers in the 12 months leading up to Q2 2021 than any other streaming service, there is no risk of Spotify losing its leading position anytime soon – but the erosion of its share is steady and persistent. Amazon Music and Tencent Music tied at third at a 13% market share a piece (68.1 million subscribers), with YouTube Music making up 8% of subscriptions globally (41.9 million subscribers)
Amazon Music once again out-performed Spotify in terms of growth (25% compared to 20%, respectively), but the standout success story was YouTube Music, for the second successive year. The launch of YouTube Music has transformed Google’s fortunes, growing by more than 50% in the 12 months leading up to Q2 2021. YouTube Music was the only service provider increase global market share during this the period.
The biggest subscriber growth, however, came from emerging markets. Between them, Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) and NetEase Cloud Music added 35.7 million subscribers in the 12 months leading up to Q2 2021. Together, they accounted for 18% of global market shares, despite being available only in China. Yandex, in Russia, was the other big gainer, doubling its subscriber base to reach 2% of global market share.
Another thing to keep in mind is that while the overall number of music streaming service subscribers has grown in 2021, this doesn’t mean that the companies’ revenue is significantly higher. That’s because some subscribers pay less due to family plans, special bundles, or reduced prices in emerging markets.
Apple continued to bolster its music streaming service in 2021 by adding support for Spatial Audio and Lossless audio at no extra cost to subscribers. The company also introduced a new subscription plan called Apple Music Voice that exclusively relies on Siri for music playback and user interaction. Spotify is yet to unveil Spotify HiFi, the eagerly awaited lossless streaming, almost a year later after it was announced.