The Most Optimistic Streaming Music Forecast Ever

The report from ABI Research came out on Friday, and constitutes one of the most ambitious streaming forecasts yet.  Here’s what the future just might look like, according to the ‘Cloud Music Services’ study.

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Total Paying Subscribers by 2014: 29 million

Total Paying Subscribers by 2019: 191 million

Spotify Marketshare by 2014: 32%

Remaining Market Leaders by 2014 (In Order): Deezer, MelOn, Rhapsody, Sony Music Unlimited.

Total Cumulative Premium Revenues by 2018: $46 Billion

Total Cumulative Premium Revenues by 2014: <$5 Billion

Artist Payout Forecast, 2019: Uncertain:

“At end-2013 the cumulative revenue from premium subscriptions will amount to less than $5 billion, yet we expect this all-time pot to exceed $46 billion in the next five years. Some two-thirds of it will be going to the rightholders; although how they will split it is then a whole another matter.”

ABI research analyst Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen.

Revenue figures based on premium subscribers. By the way, we’d share the full report, but it’s not being made available outside of ABI clients. We’re just working off of a press release and the graph sent to us (above).

22 Responses

  1. Visitor

    There’s a sattelite radio forecast from 2002 that had the same trajectory… how’d that work out? Forecasts predict what you pay them to…

    • Visitor

      Yeah, guess it says a lot that the only good streaming news these days is based on a fantasy.

    • Tune Hunter

      The report is made in london office of ABI by Swedish of Finnish national.
      “Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen….. ” is the guy who calculates 46 billion incom out of 191 million subs – just $20 a month does it! Just Spotify propaganda at work. Why not 191,758,422 subs? You are so brilliant, we could better predict industry income in five years.

    • Visitor

      No, it’s a beautiful fantasy.
      While Spotify loses money by the hour in the real world.

      • A

        How are they losing money? I’m an artist and they are the worst/lowest payout. Then I hear about the owner making it to the new big kids rich club….? wth..?

    • Tune Hunter

      If they do 200 million subs as I am always asking for it better be at 20/mth. Only than we will see 48 billions that match those wishful projections made for streaming promoters.
      To get 200 million subs you need to sale some of them in some countries for $3 a month. Sony actually is doing it now in US!
      Best case scenario is 200 subs at $5 = 12 billions for total streaming and do not expect much more from other sources – if they are around!
      Again streaming is a poison pill that have been dispensed to unconscious or already on drags patient!

  2. David

    Sure, the projection could be valid if nothing else changes…but how often do things not change in the tech world?? Realistically, the biggest issue with this is that it’s looking at paid services. I bet there will be more than the projected number listening to streaming music, but most of them will be doing it for free by future dates. There are already plenty of programs like grooveshark and torch music that offer this, and this is what the future will look like.

    • Visitor

      “the projection could be valid if nothing else changes”
      Yes, and all facts show that mainstream piracy decreases significantly over the next few years.
      Which means artists won’t have to compete with free at the end of this decade.
      They leave Spotify, and the Streaming Bubble is history.
      Here’s what a Lehman Brothers analyst said in a similar situation on March 10, 2000:
      “we may find the Nasdaq being a little overvalued at some point, but in general it’s the way of the future”
      Next day, the future was dead.

  3. walter g

    artists still make close to a big zero from streaning services.
    in 3 years i made 153. from spotify.

      • Visitor

        It’s all about the long tail, ya know.
        Unless you’re Mr. Ek or Mr. Westergren, of course.

        • King of Convenience

          You most certainly are the king of the long tail of comments. Reminds me of Groundhog Day.

    • GGG

      How many fans do you have? How many people come to your shows? How many albums have you sold? I’m guess the answer to all those questions is a very low number. Stop blaming your lack of success on anything other than your own faults.

    • Stephen B

      And the non- artest songwriter makes less than 1/14th of the artist royalty. If streaming become that successful but doesn’t pay artists and writers, I hate to think of the crap they’ll have to stream.

  4. PandaEngineer

    So in 2019 a country with a population of 300 million 63% of the population will be paid subscribers?

  5. Visitor

    I’m a streaming supporter and even I think $48 billion by 2018 is bullshit. I think we’ll be lucky if we hit $10 billion.

  6. Casey

    If the Verizon & Google Play rumors are true, this could become a reality.

    At&t would likely end up moving forward with bundling Daisy. T-Mobile would likely expand their Rhapsody partnership. That would leave Sprint looking for a partner, perhaps Spotify or Rdio.

  7. Tune Hunter

    1$ or $2.97 for full access?
    Then if the three bucks is the number we need one billion folks to get to 29.7 billion industry – just 75% of 1999.
    Lets start marketing activities in Zimbabwe, Kirgystan and Mongolia right now! Just remember that super-premium over there got go for 75 cents, so numbers are back to 20 billion and nothing alse.

  8. danwriter

    “At end-2013 the cumulative revenue from premium subscriptions will amount to less than $5 billion, yet we expect this all-time pot to exceed $46 billion in the next five years. Some two-thirds of it will be going to the rightholders; although how they will split it is then a whole another matter.””

    Gross numbers going to “rightsholders” are meaningless when the actual amount going to creators are not enough to sustain creation.

  9. Mistah Criss aka DJ Chris, own

    Just one more thing, How many songs will be offered by these services when 2019 arrives?
    Isn’t that too many songs to afford indies a fighting chance?
    Aren’t these services just another way for the major labels to dominate the marketplace?
    Until there is some semblance of an even playing field for music, the industry will continue to be stagnant and the people who painstakingly create and nurture the very roots of great music, will continue to be overlooked and shut out. As it stands, the “business” side of the music business has become more complex and even
    more risky than ever before. It commands more time and investment than most great visionary creators and artists can afford to invest and still be great.
    How, in this a&rless and self promotion/networking oriented climate can these visionary, root nurturers still fulfill there vital role in the natural evolution of music?
    They brought us the “hay days” of music profits through sticking to their vision and doing what they did best. The labels got their huge profits and built billion dollar companies thanks to these people, yet they refuse to support them because they think that formulaic music is a safer way to go. How do they not realize that the investment comes first? They could regain their stature and profits by investing in the overall health of music. It’s just like everything else, I suppose, they exploit something until it has no chance of surviving instead of maintaining and nurturing it from the roots up so it can grow and be fruitful for a very long time.
    Even if these visionary creators manage to maintain their focus and stick to their vision to create unique, new genres which are the roots of various styles, they will be drowned out by the sheer volume of the major labels domination of all listening platforms.