A new report shows that 75 percent of European consumers “expressed either willingness or interest in paying for” online music streaming services.
The news comes from a new report by the streaming services WiMP, which currently is available in Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland and Sweden. Understandably, the survey only took answers from music consumers in those five countries, but the signs that more people are willing to pay for online streaming music is a good sign for the new music model around the world.
In all of those countries except for Sweden, those “willing” to pay for subscription services has risen since last year. In Norway, 48 percent of music consumers say they are willing to pay, versus 33 percent that said the same last year. In Denmark the percentage more than doubled, from 14 percent to 30 percent, and in Germany those willing to pay increased from 25 percent to 28 percent. Poland was not included in the survey last year.
Those willing to pay in Sweden, however, dropped from 36 percent last year to 33 percent, though those three percentage points fall within the margin of error for the survey.
Additionally, the report also shows that more people plan to stream music in the coming year, and less plan to listen to CDs. And while most of this may not come as surprising news, it does clearly indicate that the future of music is digital, and that there are still many questions as to how both artists and labels will make money in the coming years.
For example, the study entirely eschews the question of how much consumers are willing to pay for subscriptions. In the U.S., prices tend to be in the $5-$10 per month range. For example, Spotify offers three models, a free, ad-supported model, an ad-free desktop model for $4.99 per month and a mobile and desktop option for $9.99 per month. Most of the other bigger streaming services in the country offer similar rates.
But Spotify revealed earlier this year that its paid subscribers is a fairly small percentage of its total user base. In March, the service’s CEO Daniel Ek revealed the service had six million paid subscribers around the world, and 24 million total subscribers. Still, the service reports that paid subscriptions are growing, and that it added one million paid users in a recent three month period, which would support the findings of the WiMP report.
However, these are early trends, and it will be interesting to see where the digital streaming industry goes from here and if this growth trend will continue. But more than that, it again highlights the importance of how these services pay artists, and if it can become an economically viable model for all involved parties.