Represented by Will Page, director of economics, Spotify attempted to win over subscription streaming critics at this year’s Music Biz Conference in Nashville on May 12. Page claims that Spotify represented one out of every $10 earned by records labels in the first quarter.
Page’s statistic conveys the substantial increase in U.S. market share for subscription services. In 2014, subscription services accounted for 10.2 percent of U.S. music revenue, according to IFIP. Based on Page’s statement, this year’s subscription service percentage is likely to be much higher.
The director of economics explained that streaming “is no longer an outlier in the business,” during his presentation. He stated that Spotify is now available in 32 of 37 countries in which steaming is the primary digital source of revenue. The global subscription streaming market is currently at $1.5 billion, with Spotify accounting for half. Page claimed that Spotify made up roughly 90 percent of 2014’s growth in subscription revenue in the U.S.
When Spotify was introduced in 2006, the atmosphere of the streaming market had a negative connotation. Throughout the 2000s, the music industry suffered greatly from increased piracy through illegal downloading and streaming. The topic of piracy accounted for much of the discussions that took place at the Music Biz Conference during this time. But, the times have changed. Streaming is now a legal alternative for consumers to listen to their favorite artists. And, piracy was not included on a panel for discussion at this year’s Music Biz Conference, which Page clearly pointed out.
Although Page did impress many of his listeners with Spotify’s overwhelming success, there are those who are still skeptical. Controversial streaming topics like the rate Spotify pays per stream to record labels and the company’s free listening option were not discussed.