Another astonishing year for growth sees a record-breaking number of streaming service users and a boom in emerging markets.

2023 saw music subscriptions skyrocket, reaching a record-breaking 713.4 million users globally in Q3. This 90 million increase from 2022 marks a significant milestone, edging us closer to the billion-subscriber mark.

However, beneath the positive headlines there lies a fascinating trend: the rise of emerging markets as the key driver of future growth. When we say emerging markets we talk about markets with rapid economic growth though often with lower per capita income compared to developed nations.

While established platforms like Spotify maintain their top positions, their growth is primarily fuelled by burgeoning markets outside the West. Spotify saw subscriber gains largely thanks to expansion in emerging regions, with a 31.7 market share.

Meanwhile, regional giants like China’s Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) are experiencing immense success, showcasing the power of local players. With 102.7 million subscribers, TME holds a dominant 14.4% share, highlighting the shift towards regional dominance.

Cover image for Music subscriber market shares 2023: New momentum

MIDiA Research analyst, Mark Mulligan writes: “It is increasingly no longer a global market, but instead, one of two halves: the West and the Global South, with each region throwing off dramatically different metrics and growth narratives.”

He continues: “As commendable as squeezing more growth out of otherwise mature markets is, the inescapable paradigm shift is the emergence of the Global South as the growth driver of tomorrow’s music subscriber base.”

While the West remains the core music market, the future belongs to emerging markets. With their rapid subscriber growth and established local platforms, these regions are poised to revolutionize the industry.

Key Takeaways:

  • Music subscriptions reached a record 713.4 million globally in Q3 2023.
  • Emerging markets are driving future growth, surpassing traditional Western dominance.
  • Regional players like TME and NetEase are witnessing significant success.
  • The future of music streaming lies beyond the West.