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40+ Fascinating Music Streaming Statistics (2022)

Last updated: 3 weeks ago
9 min read

Read about 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 it is in the article below.

Deezer streaming service and Sony earbuds

Music Streaming Statistics (2022)

Contents:

Key Music Streaming Statistics

Music Streaming Industry Statistics

Music Streaming User Statistics

Music Streaming Services Compared

Key Music Streaming Statistics

  • The music streaming industry has 523,9 million users worldwide (Q2 2021 data).
  • The music industry’s revenue rises up to 25% each year.
  • Spotify has the largest number of paying subscribers (180 million by Q4 2021 data).
  • The most streamed music genre in US in 2021 was R&B/hip hop.
  • The most-streamed artist in 2021 (and of the entire decade) was Drake.

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?

There were 523.9 million music streaming subscribers in Q2 2021.

(MIDiA)

There was 523.9 million music streaming subscribers

Is music streaming growing?

The number of music streaming subscribers has grown for 109.5 million (26.4%) compared to 2020.

YearMusic streaming subscribersDifference
Q2 2021523.9 million (MIDiA)+7.6%
Q1 2021487 million (MIDiA)+9.9%
Q4 2020443 million (IFPI)+10.7%
Q1 2020400 million (MIDiA)+17.3%
Q4 2019341 million (IFPI)+11.8%
Q1 2019304.9 million (MIDiA)+32.8%
Q1 2018229.5 million (MIDiA)+15.5%
Q4 2017198.6 million (MIDiA)+97.8%
Q4 2016100.4 million (MIDiA)+47.6%
Q4 201568 million (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 growth
2021$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 billion
sources: 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 expected 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 revenue
2022$22.61 billion
2023$26.04 billion
2024$29.47 billion
2025$32.91 billion
2026$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.

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 represented 84% of total music industry revenue in the US in 2021.

Streaming represents over 80% of the music industry revenue in the US

In 2020, music streaming represented 82.2% of total music industry revenue in the Netherlands.

  • That’s 4% more compared to 2019 music revenues.

(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.

(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.

Almost 80% of people listen to music via a 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 US users are subscribed to at least one music streaming service as of the first half of 2021. (RIAA).

Over 78% of people listen to music using a music streaming

Here are the numbers of Americans who were subscribed to at least one paid music streaming service per year:

YearUS subscribersYearly increase
202182.1 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 streamsDifference
20212.74 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 streamsDifference
2021988.1 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 worldwide represents 65% of total music industry revenue.

The sale of physical copies contributes to 16,1% of the music industry revenue.

(Music Business Worldwide)

Music streaming represents 84% of the entire US music industry revenue (Q1 2021).

Music streaming represents over 80% of the entire US music industry revenue

Music streaming dominates the US music listening market, representing more than 4/5 of total music industry revenue.

It’s followed by sales of physical copies at merely 10% in revenue.

(RIAA)

Subscription music streaming accounted for 23% of overall music engagement.

Music engagement based on source

Another 9% represent users with free ad-supported streaming services. That’s 32% in total for music streaming (IFPI).

Music consumption sourcePercentage
Paid 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.

In 2021 users spent 18.4 hourse per week listening to music

More stats on how much music an average user listens:

Hours per dayHours per week3-minute songs per daySongs per week
2.6h18.4h36852

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 took 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 week
31%1h7h
33%1-2h14h
8.6%5h35h
(Statista 4)

Interestingly, the Chinese weekly music engagement was even longer (22.9 hours).

(IFPI)

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 56-74
US99%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)

On average, Gen Z (ages 13-23) is the most likely to use music streaming services to consume music.

Most likely to stream music by age group

Here’s a table of what age groups are more likely to stream music:

Age 13-23Age 24-39Age 40-55Age 56-74
Likeliness 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.

Most likely to pay for music streaming by age group

Here’s a table for other age groups:

Age 16-24Age 25-34Age 35-44Age 45-54Age 55-64
60%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).

81% of vinyl record buyers also pay for a music streaming

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 streaming
China97%61%
India94%67%
Russia82%/
(IFPI)

Gamers are 14% more likely to pay for a music streaming subscription than regular music listeners.

Gamers are more likely to pay for music streaming subscription than others

(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)

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.

Most streamed music genres

Here’s a table of the most streamed music genres in the United States:

Music genrePopularity on streaming platforms in US
R&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)

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)

Countries with the most time spent listening to music streaming are:

CountryPercentage
Mexico67%
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.

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.

Bad Bunny was the most streamed artist globally in 2021 on Spotify.

Other most-streamed artists globally were:

  1. Taylor Swift
  2. BTS
  3. Drake
  4. Justin Bieber

(Spotify 2)

“SOUR” by Olivia Rodrigo was the most streamed album globally in 2021 on Spotify.

Other most-streamed albums globally were:

  1. “Future Nostalgia” by Dua Lipa
  2. “Justice” by Justin Bieber
  3. “=” by Ed Sheeran
  4. “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 features
Sound 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?

Based on the latest available data on music streaming companies revenue, Spotify is leading the pack with $10.93 billion.

Music streaming services yearly revenue
CompanyYearly revenue
Spotify$10.93 billion (2021)
Tencent Music$4.9 billion (2021)
Apple Music$4.1 billion (2020)
YouTube Music$4.0 billion (2020)
NetEase$1.1 billion (2021)
Deezer$0.25 billion (2021)

Spotify, Tencent, NetEase, and Deezer have 2021 earnings (official data), whereas Apple Music and YouTube Music are from 2020 (data calculated from the MIDiA graph).

Which music streaming service has the most users?

Spotify has the highest user base, with 180 million paying subscribers.

Streaming services total subs

Spotify has the highest number of paid subscribers (180 million, according to Spotify’s Q4 2021 report). A distant second is Apple Music, with around 78 million users (data from Q2 2021).

CompanyPaid subscribers
Spotify180 million
Apple Music78.6 million
Tencent76.2 million
Amazon Music68.1 million
YouTube Music41.9 million
NetEase28.9 million
Deezer10.5 million
Yandex10.5 million
Others52.4 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.

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 2021
Spotify’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 users
YouTube2.6 billion
Tencent Music1.3 billion
Spotify406 million
NetEase182.6 million
SoundCloud175 million
Pandora52.2 million
Deezer16 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).

Streaming services total songs

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.

Streaming services pay per stream
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 by far the most out of all music streaming services ($0,019), whereas Pandora pays the least ($0,0013).

(Routenote)

How much does 1 million Spotify streams pay?

1 million Spotify streams pay $4000 to the artist.

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 quality
TIDAL160kbps (US only)1411kbps24bit/192kHz (4608kbps)
Spotify160kbps320kbps320kbps
Apple Music/256kbps24bit/192kHz
Amazon Music Unlimited/3730kbps24bit/192kHz
Deezer128kbps320kbps16bit/44.1kHz (1411kbps)
Qobuz/1411kbps24bit/192kHz
YouTube Music/256kbps256kbps
SoundCloud Go+256kbps256kbps256kbps
Pandora64kbps192kbps192kbps

Sources

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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.

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.