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Streaming now earns more than downloads for third of EU indies

Tim Ingham
Streaming now earns more than downloads for third of EU indies

New research from independent global music rights group Merlin shows that 30% of European indies generated more income from streaming than downloads in 2012.

Marking its fifth anniversary of operation, Merlin, has published results of a member survey that shows 92% of respondents saw streaming and subscription revenues grow between 2011 and 2012, with a third enjoying increases of more than 100%. 

Streaming now accounts for the majority of digital revenues for nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents across the world. This growth is more pronounced in Europe, with nearly a third (30%) of European members reporting streaming comprising over 50% of digital revenues, versus 16% in USA.  

This growth is incremental, with two thirds (63.86%) of members also reporting increased a-la-carte download sales, 21.84% reporting download revenue increases of over 50%.

Overall, three quarters of respondents said that their total business revenues had increased between 2011 and 2012. Of these, one in five reported overall revenue increases in excess of 50%. 

Merlin saw that members’ aggregated market shares on digital services were on average 56% higher than in the physical market in the US and 52% higher than in the physical market in the UK.

On streaming platforms, these differentials are even more pronounced, with an analysis by Merlin of over 6.5bn streams across its licensees showing an additional uplift of between 12-20% depending on the label and where it is based.

An additional aggregated analysis of over 6.5bn streams across a number of leading streaming subscription services in 2012 revealed also that Merlin member’s growth in the streaming sector is outpacing the market.  Merlin members’ 2012 share on these services eclipsed their share of the wider digital market by margins of between 12 and 20%, depending on label and territory.

Merlin now expects to collect in excess of $65m for its members from streaming platforms in 2013.

Commenting on the findings during his opening keynote at The Great Escape convention in Brighton this morning, Merlin chief executive Charles Caldas (pictured) said: “Five years on from the establishment of Merlin, it is clear that the streaming business is coming of age.

“We are in an exciting phase of the business. The new generation of digital services has created a new dynamic of consumer freedom, limitless choice and myriad paths to discovery. Our numbers illustrate that this dynamic is bringing incremental value to the market, and the demand from music fans for the music being released by our independent members is higher than ever before.

"But the ecosystem is fragile: power is more concentrated than ever, and we are seeing an attempted land grab by the largest companies for digital market share as they try to recreate the old-market advantages they are clearly losing in the digital space.

“Any digital service that comes to market pre-shaped to satisfy the demands of the largest companies, and without understanding this new consumer-led dynamic is bound to fail. And in this delicate phase of the business, that is bad news for us all.”

Merlin’s members include the world’s most successful independent labels and distributors from 35 countries, made up of over 20,000 independent record labels and distributors, representing some of the world’s most important independent artists, including Beggars, Epitaph, Kobalt, [PIAS] Recordings, Domino and Cooking Vinyl.

SERVICE RANKINGS FOR MERLIN MEMBERS

Apple’s iTunes Store remains the world’s dominant music service for Merlin members. Spotify comes in second and Amazon MP3 third - but there are some notable regional variations for the likes of eMusic, Deezer and Beatport. 

 

GLOBAL

USA

UK

EUR

1

iTunes

iTunes

iTunes

iTunes

2

Spotify

Spotify

Spotify

Spotify

3

Amazon MP3

Amazon MP3

Amazon MP3

Amazon MP3

4

eMusic

eMusic

Deezer

Deezer

5

YouTube

YouTube

eMusic

Beatport

6

Deezer

Beatport

YouTube

eMusic

7

beatport

Deezer

Google

YouTube

8

Google Play

Rhapsody

Rhapsody

Juno

9

rDio

Google Play

Rdio

Musicload

10

Musicload

Juno Download

Beatport

Rdio

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Tags: merlin, the great escape, Charles Caldas

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