November, 2010: The State of Digital Music Monetization

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Who’s paying for what: 10 major services and their results.

(1) iTunes

Paid Song Downloads: 10 billion, cumulative since mid-2003 (source: Apple, reported February, 2010)

Broader Story: Apple song downloads are showing growth worldwide, though US-based a-la-carte downloads dropped 0.2 percent to 597 million during the first-half of 2010 (per Nielsen Soundscan).  Sequential digital album sales (2010, first three quarters) also declining.

(2) Spotify

Paying Subscribers: 650,000, 90% paying full premiums (source: Digital Music News, citing European partner sources)

Royalty Payouts: 40 million pounds ($54.5 million) cumulative since 2008 launch (source: Spotify)

(3) Rhapsody

Paying Subscribers: 650,000 (RNWK SEC filing, May 2010)

(4) Rdio

Paying Subscribers: Company would not disclose to Digital Music News (as of September 3rd)

(5) Slacker

Paying Subscribers: More than 200,000 paying $4-5 monthly (source: Slacker, to Digital Music News)

(6) eMusic

Paying Subscribers: 400,000 (per eMusic to Digital Music News, November 15th).

(7) Napster

Paying Subscribers: 760,000 as of Best Buy purchase (May, 2008). (Current number unknown, likely smaller.)

(8) Nokia’s Comes With Music

Paying Subscribers: 107,000 worldwide, 33,000 in UK (Music Ally, July 2009)

(9) Sirius XM Radio

Paying Subscribers: 19.9 million (per company, mid-October 2010)

(10) Pandora

Financial Status: Profitable (as of late-2009, per CEO Tim Westergren)
Registered users: 65 million (per Westergren, October 2010)
Active users: 25 million (in September, 2010), average monthly sessions at 11 hours.