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Music News Recap: Music’s Role in Digital Content Shrinking, FCC Announces Audits, RIAA Wins Piracy Case

Posted by Glen Sears | February 29, 2016 10:11 am | No Comments

Digital music has a small role in all digital content, and its share is getting smaller

Story of the Week

The Role of Music in Digital Content is Small And Shrinking
At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, MiDiA Research’s Mark Mulligan focused on digital music and its relation to mobile apps and sources like video in the broader digital content ecosystem. One of the themes of the address was how the streaming music business relies on almost the same model as mobile games like Clash Of Clans—by counting on a very small percentage of the total audience to pay the bills.

The difference of course is the average paying user’s overall contribution. A Clash of Clans “King” user averages $290.41/year while for UMG the annual contribution of a streaming music subscriber is $29.77. Mulligan gives credit to UMG for breaking streaming records, but insists that getting music streaming to scale isn’t enough when only 10% of streaming music users are paying customers.

Yet the most impactful takeaway from the speech is how small digital music’s role is in the broader ecosystem. Digital music (at retail values) will be just 10% of digital content revenue by 2020, down from 16% in 2015. Not only is digital music relatively small, but it will continue to lose market share. Online video, which is at an earlier stage of its development, is already bigger (at retail value) than the entire recorded music business (at trade value), while mobile app revenue is double that of online video.

Read more on the MidiA Blog here.

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