If there’s one place where the music industry keeps growing, it’s vinyl. But thankfully, there’s more than one, as streaming is experiencinga banner year as well. In fact, in 2015, the music industry actually brought in (slightly) more money than it did the year prior. Streaming revenue from both paid and ad-supported services made up 34% of $7.016 billion generated. The question remains with paid streaming services, though: how much room is there for them? Spotify is the clear winner so far, with 30 million users paying. Apple Music has gotten about 10 million as of January, and YouTube Red has launched as well. As of yesterday, there’s another streaming service that launched a pay service, and it’s one that you’re familiar with: SoundCloud.
Another service that’ll cost $10/month, SoundCloud Go appears to be off to a choppy start. Engadget reported on it yesterday, and having signed up for a 30 day free trial, started searching around its 125 million-song library. It was a relatively unsuccessful search. Looking for Thrice, for example, only bought up 37 songs. The Verge reports that of those 125 million songs, 110 million of them are remixes and user-uploaded tracks. Also, songs aren’t organized into albums, so you’ll have to make your own playlist if you want to hear the whole album. Granted, they previewed it during the first day of it’s launch, and spokespeople for the company said that they’re still working on uploading tracks.
Meanwhile, Tidal, Jay-Z’s artist-owned streaming service that got a ton of hype when it launched last year. coming up on it’s one-year anniversary today, it’s been announced that the service has three million paid subscribers. That’s not too shabby, especially when you cake into account that 45 % of them, about 1.35 million, are paying the $19.99/month tier that gets them lossless audio and video. It seemed like there might not be enough room in the marketplace for Tidal when it launched, but that’s respectable. As more people realize that paid services are the most convenient way to access lots of music, those numbers will likely go up, but it’s still questionable how much room there is for competition, especially with SoundCloud Go launching yesterday.