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MIDiA's mid-year global streaming report shows "strong but sustained, rather than strongly accelerating, growth."

Apple Music's global market share grew 2 percent in the first half of the year, reaching 19 percent of worldwide streamers, according to a study by MIDiA. Meanwhile, the report shows Spotify and Amazon holding relatively steady with 36 percent and 12 percent, respectively. 

MIDiA's Global Streaming Music Subscription Market H1 2018 report found music subscribers grew 16 percent in the first half of the year, reaching 229.5 million people worldwide -- up from 198.6 million at the end of 2017. (That's a 38 percent increase year-over-year, up 62.8 million subscribers from the same time last year.) Global music subscription revenue was $3.498 billion.

"This represents strong but sustained, rather than strongly accelerating, growth: 60.8 million net new subscribers were added between H1 2016 and H1 2017. This indicates that subscriber growth remains on the faster-growth midpoint of the S-curve," writes MIDiA managing director Mark Mulligan

MIDiA expects strong, sustained growth to continue in the second half of 2018, hypothesizing ​this streaming growth phase will last until mid-2019, at which point the "early-follower segments will be tapped out in developed markets." Then, growth will be driven my mid-tier streaming markets, such as Japan, Germany, Brazil, Mexico and Russia, which are showing potential to drive strong subscriber growth but -- particular with the latter three -- will require more mid-tier product offerings. One such product could be inexpensive content bundles, as the Brazilian market has already seen with telco brands. 

If streaming companies fail to make their products accessible to lower income consumers, their services will be constrained to affluent elites, the study warns. Of course, with a content bundling strategy, revenue per user decreases, likely leading to revenue growth glowing even as subscribers tick upward. 

Specific to services, Spotify has either gained or maintained market share every six months since Q4 2016. Its current 36 percent marketshare comprises 83 million subscribers, adding 11.9 million new subscribers in the first half or 2018 -- 39 percent of all net new subscribers, more than any other music service in the time period. 

Apple Music's 19 percent market share is up three points from the same time last year, totaling 43.5 million subscribers. Of the 9.2 million subscribers added over the first six months of 2018, the study states the United States was the key growth market -- where Apple Music is now reported to lead Spotify in paying subscriptions

Amazon's Prime Music and Amazon Music services added just under half a point of market share, staying relatively stable at 12 percent. The most growth coming to Amazon Music tier, adding 3.3 million to reach 9.5 million in H2 2018. Overall, Amazon had 27.9 million subscribers at the end of the period.

As well, Tencent Music ended the half year with 8 percent of the global marketshare, while Deezer, Google and Pandora each had 3 percent. 

See the full report here

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