Subscription Music Sees Big 2018 Rises, Ad-Supported Music Has Smaller Hikes

Subscription streaming music and audio content posted sharper gains in 2018, while ad-supported music platforms climbed more slowly.

In fourth quarter 2018, there was a 50.1% rise in the number of total non-advertising subscription streams to 157.4 billion, according to BuzzAngle Music, a music analytics company. At the same time, ad-supported streams of music rose 18% to 27.5 billion.

Overall, streaming for the fourth quarter of music/audio content climbed 45% to 184.9 billion. In December, subscription streaming rose to a 86.4% share of the market; ad-supported streaming was up 13.6%.

For the year, total on-demand audio streams were up 41% to 376.9 billion with total on-demand video streams, 24% higher to 221.1 billion.

Digital streaming continues to have a effect on digital sales of songs and albums. Individual song sales dipped 29% in 2018 to 401.1 million. The total of song titles sold dipped to 6% to 6.7 million.



Album sales were 18% lower during the year to 121.2 million -- which included declines in digital albums of 22% to 50.8 million. The total number of album titles sold sank 10% to 1.4 million.

One continuous silver cloud for the music industry: Vinyl sales of music were up again -- 12% higher in 2018 versus the year before to 9.7 million.

Overall, 2018 music consumption grew 16.2% over 2017; last year it was up 12.8% over 2016.

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