The popularity of music streaming services has overtaken video sites for the first time in the U.S., according to market monitor BuzzAngle.

Services like Apple Music and Spotify delivered 114 billion streams in the first six months of 2016, compared to 95 billion video streams on sites like YouTube and Vevo. Overall, the market for streaming services increased by 58% year-on-year.

streaming 2
The surge in popularity was largely driven by the availability of albums by Beyonce, Rihanna and Drake. Rihanna's 'Work' is the most-streamed song of 2016 in the U.S, for example, while Drake's Views is the most requested album, being streamed 1.5 billion times since its release in April.

Adele's album 25 was not available to stream for seven months after it was released, yet figures show that it was streamed 168 million times in the first six days following its streaming debut on June 24.

The rise in streaming enabled music consumption in the U.S. to grow by 6.5%, despite CD sales being down 11% and digital sales falling 17%. Vinyl sales meanwhile enjoyed continuing growth, going up 17% to 3.1 million.

Spotify remains the world's most popular streaming music service with 30 million subscribers, boasting roughly twice as many paying subscribers as Apple Music, but the Swedish rival has been available in Europe for nearly eight years and in the U.S. since 2011, while Apple Music only just celebrated its first year of service.

Despite rising users and revenues, Spotify continues to operate at a loss due to expensive royalties and revenue sharing with music label partners. The service's losses rose by 10 percent to $195.7 million (173 million euros) last year, prompting some investors to question the viability of its business model.

For Apple Music's part, assuming that it maintains its current pace of growth, it is reasonable to assume that it will eventually eclipse Spotify as the top streaming service worldwide, benefiting from its prominence as a default app on iOS and offering a lengthy three-month free trial to get users hooked on the service.

Top Rated Comments

Christoffee Avatar
100 months ago
What is a "stream"? Is one 3 min song a stream, and one 90 min film a stream? Comparing "streams" doesn't really seem like a like-for-like comparison. Maybe minutes streamed would be better.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
100 months ago
I you rent you music for x amount of time and then (finally) realize that it's ******** and cancel you are left with nothing. I on the other hand will have something. Music discovery is not rocket science. I can ask Siri if i hear a song on radio that i like or i can go to iTunes store and just browse.

Pointless discussion. Your money, you can wipe ass with it as far as I'm concerned.
Wow, that was a classy reply. I was merely illustrating that there is a rational argument for subscribing to music streaming services for some people. There's no need to get huffy. You can spend your money any way you'd like.

I own music, also. In fact, over 4,000 songs. Let's assume for the sake of argument that all of those songs were purchased at 99 cents (Which they weren't, since many of them were part of $15 albums/CDs that sometimes only contained 10 songs.).

At 99 cents each I could subscribe to a $10 a month streaming service for 33 years before I spent more money.

And I wasn't trying to say that music discovery was "rocket science." But I don't listen to over the air radio. It's full of commercials and fillers, and AM gives me uninterrupted music that is so much more diverse than anything that Clear Channel would push down my throat.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brendu Avatar
100 months ago
Smart people.
I don't know, I don't need boxes full of CDs most of which I will not listen to more than every once in awhile. With streaming I can listen to whatever I want, whenever I want without having boxes of CDs or hard drives full of music I will rarely listen to. Also, this way when my kids want to listen to some Disney song of the week I don't have to constantly buy new kids music. I get that streaming isn't for everyone but for many of us it's the most sensible.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
100 months ago
Good for you, but i don't see how renting anything for life is a most sensible.
If you were talking about something like a house, where most people only have one, then yeah, renting it for life is dumb.

With music though, there's always new songs that are available. It's great that you bought an album a few weeks ago, but now a new album is available which you haven't bought yet, so you need to go buy that too.

If you're buying $150 worth of music per year, you'd be better off just paying $120/year to stream the music instead.

Also, you can have buyer's remorse when buying albums. You buy a crappy album. What now? You won't be able to sell it for anywhere near what you bought it for. You're not interested in listening to it. You're simply out that money. If you were using a streaming service instead, all you've lost is a few minutes worth of time where you listened to something you didn't enjoy.

I've discovered a lot of musical genres that it turns out I like that I wouldn't have ever risked before, because it would have cost money to buy their albums. Folk Metal is freaking amazing.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
100 months ago
I was thinking about the same. Films are usually 1.5 to 3 or more hours and shows anywhere from 40 minutes to 1 hour+.
Majority of YouTube videos are only watched for 30 sec or less.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarpalMac Avatar
100 months ago
Good for you, but i don't see how renting anything for life is a most sensible.
The clue was in the text you quoted.

Also, this way when my kids want to listen to some Disney song of the week I don't have to constantly buy new kids music.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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