Music streams surged to 135 billion songs ahead of Apple Music debut

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited July 2015
During the first half of 2015 Americans streamed some 135 billion audio tracks and music videos over the Internet, despite the absence of any major new services such as Apple Music, according to newly-published data from market research firm Nielsen.




That number was almost double the amount from the first half of 2014, Nielsen said. The streaming tally includes not just dedicated music services such as Spotify, Rdio, and Pandora, but also YouTube, which hosts music videos and has been highlighting them through offerings like its Music Key service, still in beta.

At the same time, 2015 digital downloads dipped 10.4 percent to 531.6 million, and overall album sales fell 4 percent to 116 million.

Apple Music, which launched on Tuesday, may be critical to keeping Apple relevant in the music sphere. The iTunes Store is still the world's most successful music download outlet, but its fortunes have begun to decline as more and more people opt for streaming, which provides access to nearly inexhaustible content.

It remains to be seen how Apple will fare against its chief rival in the streaming space, Spotify. Whereas Spotify offers a free, ad-supported tier in addition to a $10-per-month Premium subscription, Apple has opted to gate all on-demand content behind a $10 monthly fee, leaving only Beats 1 and Apple Music Radio open to everyone. Users do however get three free months of full access.

Spotify is also available on more platforms, whereas Apple Music is currently limited to iOS devices and the Mac and Windows versions of iTunes. It should arrive on Android devices and the Apple TV sometime this fall.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    How is it that Youtube and the other services that ride on its back can stream and cache music unfettered?
  • Reply 2 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,165member
    paxman wrote: »
    How is it that Youtube and the other services that ride on its back can stream and cache music unfettered?
    What do you mean by "unfettered"? Is it all that different from Vivo or even some other on-demand music streamers?
  • Reply 3 of 14
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    What do you mean by "unfettered"? Is it all that different from Vivo or even some other on-demand music streamers?

    I don't listen to music on Youtube but my kids do. They also use an app called itube or some such that caches the music and lets them create playlists etc for offline playing. Everything appears to be available. The question is wether YouTube have licensing deals with all the rights holders? I assumed they didn't but I could be wrong, of course.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,165member
    paxman wrote: »
    I don't listen to music on Youtube but my kids do. They also use an app called itube or some such that caches the music and lets them create playlists etc for offline playing. Everything appears to be available. The question is wether YouTube have licensing deals with all the rights holders? I assumed they didn't but I could be wrong, of course.
    Yes YouTube pays for play. If you do a simple websearch for "YouTube royalties" you'll find several sources for it.

    Almost as soon as Google bought them several years ago they put a system in place called ContentID to identify copyrighted music and see that the IP owner was paid each time the content was accessed if the artist/label wanted to allow it's use. If they don't want to Google removes/blocks the content and may even penalize the person uploading it. Vivo now use the same Google software.

    With that said songwriters get but a pittance from YouTube and other streamers with the labels reaping the vast majority of the revenue.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Yes YouTube pays for play. If you do a simple websearch for "YouTube royalties" you'll find several sources for it.

    Almost as soon as Google bought them several years ago they put a system in place called ContentID to identify copyrighted music and see that the IP owner was paid each time the content was accessed if the artist/label wanted to allow it's use. If they don't want to Google removes/blocks the content and may even penalize the person uploading it. Vivo now use the same Google software.

    With that said songwriters get but a pittance from YouTube and other streamers with the labels reaping the vast majority of the revenue.
    OK, thanks, I just assumed (Google, and all). I am trying to point my kids towards Apple Music (family plan), but they are resistant to change. The way they listen to music is VERY different than older (20 and up), folks do. I despair.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    paxman wrote: »
    OK, thanks, I just assumed (Google, and all). I am trying to point my kids towards Apple Music (family plan), but they are resistant to change. The way they listen to music is VERY different than older (20 and up), folks do. I despair.

    Yes try to wean them away from Google's YouTube ASAP for music. They are not being stalked with Apple.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 633member
    paxman wrote: »
    OK, thanks, I just assumed (Google, and all). I am trying to point my kids towards Apple Music (family plan), but they are resistant to change. The way they listen to music is VERY different than older (20 and up), folks do. I despair.

    They will use the service all of their friends are on. Kids are more dependent on tastemakers than adults imho.
    Hopefully AM can start to convert the cool kids and go from there.

    PS
    There is an inverse relationship to what the parents like versus what the kids like. As soon as parents got onto Facebook, it wasn't cool anymore and the kids moved on.

    I would pay for the family plan to give them options, but really downplay your how much you use it /enthusiasm for it - or you will just end up pushing them in the wrong direction.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,165member
    paxman wrote: »
    OK, thanks, I just assumed (Google, and all). I am trying to point my kids towards Apple Music (family plan), but they are resistant to change. The way they listen to music is VERY different than older (20 and up), folks do. I despair.
    Part of it is YouTube is music AND video. That's what some really prefer over just music. In fact with a Google Play Music subscription you also get a paid ad-free YouTube subscription where you're given the option of streaming the music video for the track you requested if one is available. Even I've opted for the music video on occasion. There's some that are pretty good productions.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,284member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Yes YouTube pays for play. If you do a simple websearch for "YouTube royalties" you'll find several sources for it.

    Almost as soon as Google bought them several years ago they put a system in place called ContentID to identify copyrighted music and see that the IP owner was paid each time the content was accessed if the artist/label wanted to allow it's use. If they don't want to Google removes/blocks the content and may even penalize the person uploading it. Vivo now use the same Google software.

    With that said songwriters get but a pittance from YouTube and other streamers with the labels reaping the vast majority of the revenue.

    Way to skirt the issue. paxman mentioned itube. Please explain how content downloaded from YouTube using one of the many illegal Apps out there is going to make any royalties for the owner when it's played offline countless times on your PC after being "ripped" from YouTube.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 633member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Part of it is YouTube is music AND video. That's what some really prefer over just music. In fact with a Google Play Music subscription you also get a paid ad-free YouTube subscription where you're given the option of streaming the music video for the track you requested if one is available. Even I've opted for the music video on occasion. There's some that are pretty good productions.

    Apple Music has video as well. Not a lot of people have talked about that.

    I have also bought iTunes music videos in the past. Sometimes the clip just makes the song, as you said. It is actually only a little bit more expensive than just the song by itself.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,165member
    Way to skirt the issue. paxman mentioned itube. Please explain how content downloaded from YouTube using one of the many illegal Apps out there is going to make any royalties for the owner when it's played offline countless times on your PC after being "ripped" from YouTube.
    Skirt what issue? The question was whether YouTube paid for licensed content. They do. It wasn't stolen nor is YouTube making money from music they don't have a license for AFAIK. Feel free to correct me. Furthermore I'm pretty sure I remember reading that Google blocks YouTube downloader extensions in Chrome and doesn't allow apps for it in Google Play either. This is from section 4.4.1 of the Developer TOS:

    "You agree that you will not engage in any activity with the Gallery, including the development or publication of Products or other materials, that [...] enables the unauthorized download of streaming content or media."

    So it's certainly not something YouTube/Google sanctions if it's happening. I'll guess you had no idea that Google actively blocks illegal YouTube downloader software where they have some control over it. I think Google Search also avoid links to known sites with significant pirated content for the most part don't they? You could at least give credit when it's due.

    Since i don't steal movies or songs you may be much more familiar with how it's done and where it comes from. I had always heard it was from pirate sites and using stuff like Bittorrent. That's not accurate? How do you download albums without paying for them?

    EDIT: And as I thought you might, you read this and *poof* disappear without comment.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    OT a bit but I think Apple should stop using 'streaming' as a descriptor and find something that sounds less 'out there' especially to the older generations. I'd suggest 'On Demand' or 'It's Just There'. :D
  • Reply 13 of 14
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    Way to skirt the issue. paxman mentioned itube. Please explain how content downloaded from YouTube using one of the many illegal Apps out there is going to make any royalties for the owner when it's played offline countless times on your PC after being "ripped" from YouTube.

    Give the Gatorguy a break, he's just doing his job promoting Google and knocking Apple on this Apple user web site. :D
  • Reply 14 of 14
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,717member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post





    Way to skirt the issue. paxman mentioned itube. Please explain how content downloaded from YouTube using one of the many illegal Apps out there is going to make any royalties for the owner when it's played offline countless times on your PC after being "ripped" from YouTube.



    Hardly fair.  Why is YouTube responsible for illegal apps?  Google aren't hosting iTube, Apple are.

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