2018 has been the biggest year for music streaming yet as people all around the world sign up for limitless listening.

Midia have released their report for the music streaming industry in the first half of 2018. It shows that the incredible growth of online music in recent years is still going strong and that more people around the world are listening to music on streaming services than ever before.

The report shows that in the first half of 2018 music streaming rose a considerable 16% to 229.5 million subscribers, after closing 2017 with 198.6 million subscribers. From the same time last year, music streaming has gained 62.8 million subscribers which represents over a 25% in total growth. This growth is incredible, but also represents growth similar to the year before when from H1 2016 to H1 2017 subscribers grew by only 2 million less; 60.8 million.

Midia predict that music streaming’s incredible growth is only going to continue for the rest of 2018, and no doubt will remain through 2019. Countries where music streaming has been heavily adopted like the US and Europe will probably soon start to slow down in growth as all the main audiences for streaming sign up or are already signed up.

Midia reckons that future growth for music streaming will be mostly driven by emerging territories which are newly adopting music streaming, such as Japan, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, and Russia. The growth of streaming in these territories will require unique offerings however, says Midia in their report. They reckon that promotions like bundling services with telco packages will lead growth in mid-tier streaming markets.

The trends for the top streaming services were:

  • Spotify:Spotify once again maintained global market share of 36%, the same as in Q4 2017, with 83 million subscribers. Spotify has either gained or maintained market share every six months since Q4 2016. Spotify added more subscribers than any other service in H1 2018 – 11.9, which was 39% of all net new subscribers across the globe in the period.
  • Apple Music:Apple added two points of market share, up to 19%, and up three points year-on-year, with 43.5 million subscribers. Apple Music added the second highest number of subscribers – 9.2 million, with the US being the key growth market.
  • Amazon:Across Prime Music and Music Unlimited Amazon added just under half a point of market share, stable at 12%. Amazon experienced the most growth within its Unlimited tier, adding 3.3 million to reach 9.5 million in H2 2018. In total Amazon had 27.9 million subscribers at the end of the period.
  • Others:There were mixed fortunes among the rest of the pack. In Japan, Line Music experienced solid quarterly growth to reach one million subscribers, while in South Korea MelOn had a dip in Q1 but recovered in Q2 to finish slightly above its Q4 2017 figure. Elsewhere, Pandora had a solid six months, adding 0.5 million subscribers, while Google performed strongly on a global basis