Full stream ahead for mobile music

Global revenues from mobile streamed music services are expected to rise by more than 40% to USD1.7bn, according to a new report from Juniper Research. For the first time, these revenues will thereby overtake those generated by full-track downloads to mobile devices.

The report observed that growth in premium service adoption was increasingly being driven by operator partnerships with service providers. In Europe, several operators have seen an uplift in spend amongst the mobile users, notably TeliaSonera in Sweden, which bundles Spotify with TV, mobile and fixed line services. Furthermore, such services are also gaining traction in Germany, where O2 offers simfy and T‑Mobile has recently introduced Spotify.

However, the most significant growth has come in the US, which is poised to overtake South Korea this year as the leading market for mobile streamed music services.

Meanwhile, the report – Mobile Music: Market Prospects 2013-2017– found that leading OTT (Over The Top) players were poised to challenge players such as Pandora and Spotify for supremacy in the streamed music space.

According to report author Dr Windsor Holden: “Historically, companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon have primarily focused on cloud music from a storage perspective; as a remote locker for downloaded tracks. Apple’s forthcoming iRadio service is likely to bring significant pressure to bear on the existing players – and prompt competing offerings from the other major OTT companies.”

However, the report cautioned that monetisation of streamed music services was still being severely impacted by digital piracy: even in markets which have imposed blocking orders on leading torrent sites, the overall rate of torrent traffic has continued to increase.

The report adds that mobile music services are increasingly context driven and are increasingly evolving social aspects such as sharing, activity feeds and follow options.

Revenues from legacy services such as ringtones and ringback tones will continue to decline sharply, with ringtones in Western Europe now worth just 2% of their peak value.

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