Finally, the mid-year statistics are out in open and turns out, YouTube is under severe threat, according to BuzzAngle, caused by a paradigm shift due to the introduction of on-demand audio streaming services. Isn’t it startling to see the audio streaming services intruding on a niche that YouTube has dominated for countless years?
Here are the statistics: It was analyzed by BuzzAngle, that services like Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, and Google Music are responsible for the booming of audio streaming across the globe. As per the research, in the first half of the year, audio streaming delivered by the aforementioned services has risen by 108% from last year, which amounts to 114 billion music plays. During the same first six months of 2016, video streams on various platforms totted up to 95 billion only which is 23% growth compared to last year’s video streaming.
|Change (in %)
To be noted: Streams mentioned above in the table are on-demand streams.
Although the on-demand audio streaming hasn’t completely outranked video streaming, its resurgence is quite apparent. However, the audio streaming is on a significant rise. As much as it is proving to be a curse for its competitors (YouTube and other video streaming services), it has proven to be a blessing in disguise for the music industry. The music industry must be grateful to the universe for letting this paradigm shift to come into being. You must wonder what difference it would make in the lives of the musicians. With the increased audio streams, there takes place an increase in the revenue generation, and hence, it paves a way for increased earnings for the industry.
The ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ Barbadian music beauty Rihanna’s song ‘Work’ has hit the roof. It is the most played single of this year so far. Not only Rihanna but her collaborator on that single, Drake, has managed to be the most steamed singer. The Canadian hip hop recording artist’s album ‘Views’ has freshly tied the legendary Michael Jackson in the charts for having spent the longest time i.e. seven weeks. No wonder the album tops the charts for being the top seller with around 1.2 million units moved. Second on the charts is the Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber, who has brought around 1.3 million streams in past half a year.
While audio streaming has gained a lot of momentum, it doesn’t change the fact there also exist free-option services for streaming like YouTube and Spotify, which has already paved a way to increased leverage with label negotiations in the picture. This means, as the number of streams will rise, an increase in artist and label arguments will also be seen, specifically for distribution of fair wages. Not only that, while this farce is well underway, negotiations with YouTube will be taking place simultaneously leading to probable radical changes regarding pay per day.
With all the farce and overshadowing, there underlies YouTube’s life already in jeopardy. I was equally shocked to know this year’s statistics. However, the shock didn’t sustain when I realized that these audio streaming services provide a lot of convenience and portability with respect to an artist’s entire album and not only a single with its available video. It lets the music listeners to thoroughly soak themselves into what a band or an artist have to offer them. Letting the listeners immerse into their catalog will lead to boggling of listeners’ minds (as per their taste, of course) and make it highly possible for them to splurge on the band/artist’s merchandise and probably even concert tickets. Whereas on YouTube one has to hop from one artist to another, it becomes convenient to use audio streaming services.
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To top it off YouTube’s adversity, Apple is spending out lavishly to strategize and market its music service for the listeners. Apple has already managed to acquire exclusives for band/artist’s albums, which is very apparent that their motive is to spread their net beyond in the music business. At the same time, it is quite evident that Spotify shares the same vision that of acquiring a considerable amount of market share as it has already secured a debt financing of 1$ billion.
I think YouTube already saw it coming, and thus they launched an audio-only version of YouTube referred to as YouTube Music. It’s currently available only in the United States, but after seeing the audio streaming companies grow, I think they’ll soon have to launch it in other countries like India where this market isn’t saturated yet.