Here are the latest music streaming statistics that will blow your mind. You’ll discover: How many people are subscribed to music streaming In what countries is the music streaming most popular What’s the total music streaming industry revenue Also, the most-streamed artist of the decade has 36.3 billion streams. Find out who, in the article below. CONTENTS (click to show more) Key Music Streaming Statistics The music streaming industry has more than 616 million users worldwide. There are 90 million or 17.6% more subscribers to music streaming services compared to last year. Music streaming generates almost $17 billion revenue per year. $36.34 billion revenue is the music streaming 2026 estimate. Music streaming represents 65% of global and 84% of US total music industry revenue. Ad-supported music streaming brings similar revenue to physical sales, around $5 billion. 78% of people listen to music via streaming service. 2.74 trillion songs were streamed globally in 2021. Almost a 3rd of all music engagement is streamed. Generation Z is most likely to stream music. Spotify is #1 with 187.8 million paying subscribers and 31% market share. The most streamed music genre in US is R&B/hip hop. Drake is the most-streamed artist of the entire decade. Sound quality (56%) and price (56%) are the most important streaming service features. Music Streaming Industry Statistics (Revenue and Market Share) Find out: How much money does the music streaming industry generate yearly? What’s the expected growth by the end of 2027? How did streaming affect the music industry? How many people use music streaming? Over 616 million people use music streaming to listen to music. (MIDiA) Is music streaming growing? Over 90 million or 17.6% more people are subscribed to music streaming services compared to last year. YearMusic streaming subscribersDifferenceQ2 2022616.2 million+17.6%Q2 2021523.9 million+7.6%Q1 2021487 million+9.9%Q4 2020443 million+10.7%Q1 2020400 million+17.3%Q4 2019341 million+11.8%Q1 2019304.9 million+32.8%Q1 2018229.5 million+15.5%Q4 2017198.6 million+97.8%Q4 2016100.4 million+47.6%Q4 201568 million/Sources: MIDiA, IFPI YouTube Music saw the biggest rise in subscribers, gaining 50% more paid users compared to Q2 2020. Subscribers of China-based music streaming services (Tencent Music and NetEase) represent the most extensive subscriber growth, adding 35.7 million subscribers, accounting for 18% of global market shares (MIDiA). How much revenue is made from music streaming? Music streaming services generated $16.9 billion in revenue in 2021 (IFPI). That’s 65% of total music industry revenue that year (Statista). The music streaming industry revenue is growing each year by roughly 35.7%. Here’s a table of the music industry streaming revenue per year and its growth: YearMusic Streaming RevenueAnnual growth2021$16.9 billion+26.1%2020$13.4 billion+17.5%2019$11.4 billion+28%2018$8.9 billion+34.8%2017$6.6 billion+40.4%2016$4.7 billion+67.8%2015$2.8 billion+47.3%2014$1.9 billion+35.7%2013$1.4 billion+40%2012$1.0 billion+66.6%2011$0.6 billion+50%2010$0.4 billion0%2009$0.4 billion+33.3%2008$0.3 billion+50%2007$0.2 billion+100%2006$0.1 billion0%2005$0.1 billionsources: Statista, IFPI Subscription audio streaming is the main source of revenue for the music industry, and it’s growing each year as people move away from buying CDs and albums to access music. How big is the music streaming industry? The estimated music streaming revenue for 2022 is $22.61 billion. The annual growth rate (CAGR from 2022 to 2026) is expected to be 8.1%, meaning that by the end of 2026, the revenue is expected to rise to $36.34 billion (around $3.4 billion increase per year). YearEstimated music streaming revenue2022$22.61 billion2023$26.04 billion2024$29.47 billion2025$32.91 billion2026$36.34 billion(Statista 2) These are all estimations based on the current growth of the streaming music service industry. (Statista 2) In 2021, 85.8% of Mexicans used Spotify as their leading music streaming platform. Followed by YouTube Music with merely a 3.1% share (Statista 7). Spotify is also the most downloaded music streaming app in Poland and Sweden. See more Spotify stats here. Interestingly, in 2020, the most popular streaming service in Japan was Amazon Music (Statista 8). How big is streaming compared to music industry as a whole? Music streaming represents 84% of total US music industry revenue. The total for the world is a bit lower, 65% as mentioned before, but slowly catching up to the US. Total music industry revenueMusic streaming sharePhysical salesUS84%10%World65%16.1% Music streaming dominates the US music listening market, representing more than 4/5 of total music industry revenue. The sale of physical copies contributes to 16,1% of the music industry revenue. In the US sales of physical copies contribute merely 10% of revenue. It’s a small part of the total but once contributed almost all music sales. (RIAA) In Europe, it’s not much different: Music streaming represents 82.2% of total music industry revenue in the Netherlands. That’s 2020 data and 4% more compared to 2019. (Statista 3) Ad-supported streaming brings almost the same revenue to the global music industry as physical format sales. Free streaming brings $4.6 billion ($3.5 billion in 2020, which is a 31% increase), whereas physical format sales represent $5 billion. Music formatRevenueFree streaming$4.6 billionPhysical sales$5 billion (IFPI) In 2021, Spotify paid the largest sum of $7 billion to rights holders. According to Spotify, that’s more than any retailer in one year in history. (Spotify) Music Streaming User Statistics Here you’ll find stats on how people use music streaming services and how much time they spent using them. There’s also a detailed table on how many users use music streaming services based on demographic and country. More on that later. How many people listen to music via streaming? 78% of people listen to music using some sort of music streaming service. That takes into account both paid and ad-supported streaming services. (IFPI) How many Americans use premium streaming services? 82.1 million Americans are subscribed to at least one music streaming service. (RIAA). Here are the numbers of Americans who were subscribed to at least one paid music streaming service per year: YearUS subscribersYearly increase202182.1 million+13.1%202072.6 million+24.7%201958.2 million+33.2%201843.7 million+38.7%201731.5 million+55.2%201620.3 million+123%20159.1 million+15.2%20147.9 million(Statista 9) What are the most common reasons people pay for a music streaming subscription? The main 3 reasons why people pay for a music streaming subscriptions are: No ads to interrupt the music Millions of songs to choose from Listening to whatever they want when they want (IFPI) Users streamed 2.74 trillion songs worldwide in 2021. Coming from 2.17 trillion streams in 2020 (a 26.3% difference). YearGlobal yearly streamsDifference20212.74 trillion+26.3%20202.17 trillion+22.6%20191.8 trillion(MRC Data Reports) In 2021, US users streamed 988.1 billion songs. In 2020, that number was 877 billion. Here’s a table of annual US streams per year and their growth: YearUS yearly streamsDifference2021988.1 billion+12.6%2020877.2 billion+17.6%2019745.9 billion-15.9%2018887.4 billion+43.6%2017618.1 billion+42.9%2016432.3 billion+39.4%2015310.1 billion+88.5%2014164.5 billion+55%2013106.1 billion(Statista 10) Music streaming vs. other sources Subscription music represents 32% of all music engagement. Paid streaming represents 23% and ad-supported 9% of music sources. (IFPI) Here’s a table with a breakdown of music sources: Music consumption sourcePercentagePaid music streaming23%Video streaming22%Radio16%Short videos (TikToks)11%Ad-supported music streaming9%Purchased music (CDs, downloads)9%Other (Netflix, music borrowing)5%Social media3%Live shows2%(IFPI) In 2021, users spent 18.4 hours per week listening to music, which is an official Guinness World Record. More stats on how much music an average user listens: Hours per dayHours per week3-minute songs per daySongs per week2.6h18.4h36852 Those figures were up from 18 hours per week in 2019. Data for 2020 isn’t available due to challenging conditions posed by the pandemic. However, a similar study in 2020 researched French teenagers and how much time they spent listening to music. Here are the results of the French teenager study: Percentage of peopleHours per dayHours per week31%1h7h33%1-2h14h8.6%5h35h(Statista 4) Interestingly, the Chinese weekly music engagement was even longer (22.9 hours). (IFPI) More data on teens: Teen Spending Statistics Teen & Kids Screen Time Statistics What age group uses music streaming services the most? Gen Z (age 13 to 23) is the most likely age group to use music streaming to listen to music. Age 13-23Age 24-39Age 40-55Age 56-74US99%98%96%89%Chile91%92%78%72%Mexico83%87%81%75%Colombia84%88%76%69%Brazil87%89%73%63%Argentina87%89%77%58%Spain82%78%74%57%UK77%79%67%41%Japan89%70%51%34%Germany83%78%59%37%Italy77%76%59%40%France84%68%53%37%(MRC Data Reports) US users also almost entirely use streaming to listen to music (millennials (98%), Gen X (96%), boomers (89%)). The lowest percentage of music streaming users represent Japanese boomers, with only 34% (physical copies are still popular in Japan). (MRC Data Reports) Gen Z (ages 13-23) is the most likely to use music streaming services for music. Here’s a table of what age groups are more likely to stream music: Age 13-23Age 24-39Age 40-55Age 56-74Likeliness to stream music84%83%73.5%57.5% Calculated median based on worldwide data from MRC Data Reports. At 61%, millennials (age 25-34) are the most likely to pay for a music streaming subscription. Here’s a table for other age groups: Age 16-24Age 25-34Age 35-44Age 45-54Age 55-6460%61%44%37%28%(IFPI) What are the most common things users do in music streaming apps? 68% of users search for a specific song to listen to more than once a week. 62% search for a particular artist, whereas 62% mostly listen to their own playlists. (IFPI) 81% of vinyl record buyers also pay for a music streaming service (IFPI). Among music fans who acquire music illegally, 27% of them obtained or listened to music by ripping songs from music streaming sites. Music ripping is still prevalent though less than in the past. (IFPI) In China, 97% of music listeners use streaming services to listen to music, and 61% of them pay for a subscription. In India, the ratio is 94% / 67%. In Russia, 82% of listeners use music streaming services. CountryStreaming usage %Pay for streamingChina97%61%India94%67%Russia82%/(IFPI) Gamers are 14% more likely to pay for a music streaming subscription than regular music listeners. (MRC Data Reports) 86.7% of all R&B/hip hop songs in 2021 were streamed. Dance music is followed closely by 86.6%. The least streamed genre was jazz, with 62.5%. (MRC Data Reports) Find other rap and hop hop statistics here. Most streamed music genres in the US The most-streamed music genre in the US was R&B/Hip Hop, with a 29.8% share. Followed by rock (17.3%), pop (13.1%), and country (8.1%), with jazz (0.8%) being the least streamed genre. Here’s a table of the most streamed music genres in the United States: Music genrePopularity on streaming platforms in USR&B/Hip Hop29.8%Rock17.3%Pop13.1%Country8.1%Latin5.8%Dance/electronic3.5%Christian/gospel1.8%World music1.7%Children1.2%Classical1.0%Jazz0.8%(Digital Music News) Pandemic’s impact on music streaming On-demand streaming increased worldwide by 22.6% during the pandemic. In the US, streaming gained a 17% increase over the pandemic. Also, during the pandemic, Japan, Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey, Spain, Brazil, and Germany saw the most significant increase in on-demand streaming (22.8% combined). (Music Business Worldwide 2) What countries listen to streamed music the most? Countries with the most time spent listening to music streaming are: CountryPercentageMexico67%Sweden62%Brazil57%Germany54%UK52%(IFPI) According to MRC Data Reports, countries with the most significant music streaming growth are: Japan Colombia Poland Turkey UK What is the most streamed song? According to MRC Data Reports, “Levitating” by Dua Lipa was the most-streamed song of 2021, reaching 626.6 million plays. Here’s a music video to the most streamed song: Dua Lipa – Levitating Featuring DaBaby (Official Music Video) However, that’s far behind chart-toppers from previous years. “The Box” by Roddy Ricch in 2020 (920.4 million plays) “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X in 2019 (1 billion plays) “God’s Plan” by Drake in 2018 (917.9 million plays) Who’s the most-streamed artist of the decade? Drake is the most-streamed artist of the decade (2010-2020), having a total of 36.3 billion streams. Most streamed artists of the decade (US audio & video; via Nielsen)#1 @Drake 36.3B#2 @PostMalone 18.9B#3 @Eminem 17.8B#4 @ArianaGrande 13.9B#5 @1future 13.9B#6 @theweeknd 13.6B#7 @taylorswift13 13.3B#8 XXXTentacion 13B#9 @edsheeran 12.9B#10 @rihanna 12.8B— chart data (@chartdata) January 9, 2020 With 8.6 billion streams, Drake was also the most streamed artist in 2021 in the US. Apparently, 1 out of every 131 streamed songs was Drake’s. .@Drake was the #1 most streamed artist of 2021 in the US, with 8.6 billion on-demand streams. 1 out of every 131 streams was a Drake song.— chart data (@chartdata) January 13, 2022 Bad Bunny was the most streamed artist globally in 2021 on Spotify. Other most-streamed artists globally were: Taylor Swift BTS Drake Justin Bieber (Spotify 2) “SOUR” by Olivia Rodrigo was the most streamed album globally in 2021 on Spotify. Other most-streamed albums globally were: “Future Nostalgia” by Dua Lipa “Justice” by Justin Bieber “=” by Ed Sheeran “Planet Her” by Doja Cat (Spotify 2) The most used device to stream music in Mexico was a smartphone (Statista 5). In 2020, users stated sound quality (56%) and price (56%) to be the most important music streaming service features. Important music streaming featuresSound quality56%Price56%Ease of making a playlist48%Ease of downloading music43%Ease of discovering new music36%Access to exclusive music24%Brand trust19%Availability of music videos12%Integration with smart assistant10%Other5%(Statista 6) When streaming at 320kbps quality, you’ll use 2.4MB of data per minute and 144MB per hour. To burn an entire 1GB of data, you’ll have to stream for 6.9 hours. (Digital Music News) Music Streaming Services Compared General data on: Which streaming service has the biggest song collection Which music streaming earns the largest sum? How much do music streaming platforms pay to the artist Which music streaming company earns the biggest revenue? Spotify is earning the highest revenue of $4.94 billion. CompanyYearly revenueSpotify$4.94 billion (FY2021)Apple Music$2.97 billion (FY2021)Amazon Music$1.72 billion (FY2021)YouTube Music$1.22 billion (FY2021)Tencent Music$422 million (FY2021)Melon$269 million (FY2021)Pandora$226 million (FY2021)Deezer$195 million (FY2021)Others$917 million (FY2021)Source: MIDiA, Music subscriber market shares 2022 Which music streaming service has the most users? Spotify has the highest user base, with 187.8 million paying subscribers. Spotify has the highest number of paid subscribers 187.8 million. A distant second is Apple Music, with around 78 million users (data from Q2 2021). CompanyPaid subscribersSpotify187.8 millionApple Music78.6 millionTencent76.2 millionAmazon Music68.1 millionYouTube Music41.9 millionNetEase28.9 millionDeezer10.5 millionYandex10.5 millionOthers52.4 million Spotify, Tencent, and NetEase user count comes from official reports, whereas the others are calculated based on global market share in Q2 2021. With 31% Spotify holds the biggest slice of the music streaming market share. Here’s a table of music streaming market shares: Spotify31%Apple Music15%Amazon Music13%Tencent Music13%YouTube Music8%NetEase6%Deezer2%Yandex2%Others10%(MIDiA) Despite Spotify’s growing user base, its market share is constantly shrinking: YearQ2 2019Q2 2020Q2 2021Spotify’s market share34%33%31%(MIDiA) While Spotify gained most subscribers in the last 12 months than any other music streaming service (leading to Q2 2021), its market share is dropping. The reason is that other major platforms (Apple Music and Amazon Music) are also seeing a huge rise in subscriptions. (MIDiA) YouTube has the highest share of monthly active users (2.6 billion in 2021). The second is Tencent Music (WeChat), with around 1.3 billion active users. A distant third is Spotify, with 406 million active users, followed by NetEase (182.6 million), SoundCloud 175 million (DMR), Pandora 52.2 million, and Deezer 16 million (official financial reports). These include free users who don’t pay for the service but are monetized differently, often via advertising. CompanyMonthly active usersYouTube2.6 billionTencent Music1.3 billionSpotify406 millionNetEase182.6 millionSoundCloud175 millionPandora52.2 millionDeezer16 million Find more data on SoundCloud users here. What music streaming service has the most songs? Apple Music, Deezer, and Amazon Music (90 million) have the largest collection of songs, followed by Spotify (82 million). However, the amount of songs available depends on the region. In most cases, services with 90 million songs only offer 75 million songs due to region lock. How much do music streaming services pay per stream on average? Streaming services pay on average $0.0079 per stream to the artist. The number is a calculated average from the data in the graph. Which music streaming service pays artists the most? Based on the 2021 data, Napster pays the most out of all music streaming services ($0,019), whereas Pandora pays the least ($0,0013). (Routenote) Which music streaming service offers the best sound quality? TIDAL and Amazon Music Unlimited offer the highest streaming quality of the bunch. PlatformFree tier qualityPaying tier qualityMax qualityTIDAL160kbps (US only)1411kbps24bit/192kHz (4608kbps)Spotify160kbps320kbps320kbpsApple Music/256kbps24bit/192kHzAmazon Music Unlimited/3730kbps24bit/192kHzDeezer128kbps320kbps16bit/44.1kHz (1411kbps)Qobuz/1411kbps24bit/192kHzYouTube Music/256kbps256kbpsSoundCloud Go+256kbps256kbps256kbpsPandora64kbps192kbps192kbps FAQs What is music streaming industry? Music streaming industry offers on-demand audio streaming, when you want, wherever you want. It has become the most popular way of listening to music, where people can legally listen to millions of songs. How big is the music streaming industry? The data from 2021 shows that the music streaming industry generated $16.9 billion in revenue (65% of total music industry earnings) and has over 523 million subscribed users. Is streaming good for the artists? According to Bison Disc website, artists get paid significantly more from sales of physical copies than music streaming. Streaming also degrades dynamic range slightly, which is higher on CDs. Is streaming good for the music industry? Yes, since it represents the majority of the music industry’s earnings. In 2021, 65% of the music industry revenue came from music streaming. Also, music streaming helped making millions of songs and artists more accessible to all people, while shrinking down the audio piracy. How much does 1 million Spotify streams pay? 1 million Spotify streams pay $4000 to the artist. Read more: Audiobooks industry and audible stats Conclusion That’s it for the most interesting statistics on the music streaming industry. It’s getting bigger each year, so it’s fascinating to learn what is driving the rise in popularity and how people use the services. Have we missed any stat? What else would you want to know about the music streaming industry? Let us know in the comments below. Sources: Expand Sources Statista Statista 2 Statista 3 Statista 4 Statista 5 Statista 6 Statista 7 Statista 8 Statista 9 Statista 10 MIDiA Music Business Worldwide Music Business Worldwide 2 MRC Data Reports IFPI RIAA Spotify Spotify 2 Digital Music News Business Wire Routenote MIDiAResearch, Music subscriber market shares 2022. Accessed Feb 2023. Peter SusicFrom a childhood fascination with sound, Peter’s passion has evolved into a relentless pursuit of the finest headphones. He’s an audio expert with over 5 years of experience in testing both audiophile and consumer-grade headphones. Quote: “After many years, I can confidently tell which headphones are good and which are terrible.” Find his honest opinion in his reviews.