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Dec 2018 - Market Perspective - Doc # US44484518

Platforms Disrupt Streaming Audio Subscription Services: Timing, Impact, Ingredients, and Countermeasures

By: John Jackson

Abstract

This IDC Market Perspective discusses digital service providers (and their investors) of all types that are focused on expanding subscription-based models, which provide coveted recurring revenue visibility and generally higher-quality consumer touch points. Streaming audio is no exception. The market features a competitive mix of pure-plays such as Tidal, Spotify, and Pandora and large-scale digital service providers including Amazon, Apple, and Google.

"Our ConsumerScape 360 Subscription Services Survey data suggests that Amazon and Apple have been able to establish large subscriber bases for their streaming music offering in just a couple years, to the point where they now rival or even exceed everyone but Spotify," said John Jackson, IDC's research vice president for Consumer Technologies and Services. "We wanted to understand how these platform providers' attributes — their distribution — device presence including smart speakers and other multiservice plays such as Amazon Prime were affecting the competitive market." He continued, "Our research suggests that Amazon Music in particular has been helped by Prime and Amazon's dominant position in the voice-activated digital assistant market with its Echo portfolio. We think the data and analysis are highly instructive for both incumbent pure-plays, such as Spotify and the soon-to-be-one Sirius-Pandora, and platform multiplays."


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