Free Music Streaming Is A Revenue Killer

Grammy president Neil Portnow and rapper Common are two recent notables in the biz to question the monetary benefit the music community gains from free-streaming or ad-supported offerings, and new data from France adds substance to their claim.

According to French trade body SNEP, ad-funded streaming revenues flowing into recorded music rights-holders fell in the territory last year – down 8.4%.

Editorializing, Music Business Int. posits, "In an industry used to seeing streaming revenues climb up and up every year, that’s a bit of a shocker. And it gets worse."

The "worse" is income from ad-funded audio services – including Deezer and Spotify’s free tiers - dropped almost as much, by 8.1%.

And income from ad-funded video services – including the likes of DailyMotion, Vevo and the perennial elephant in the room, YouTube, showed even starker declines.

What saved the bacon in France was subscription revenue growth, much of which can be attributed to the launch of Apple Music.

You can read MBW's report here, and Mark Mulligan crunches the numbers further on his Music Industry Blog here.

Leave a comment