Internet Music Programmers 2016 – 2018: Ad-Supported and Subscription Listening Hours Chart a Monetization Groove

SEASIDE, CA – 25 Jan, 2017 – Triggered by shifting music listener consumption patterns, an outstanding assembly of cross-channel broadcasters and pure-play internet programmers, services and platforms, combined with exploitation of the audio avail plus consumer comfort with affordable pay-as-you-go subscription fees, collectively powered a 56.7% jump in 2016 revenue.

Topline analytics in the AccuStream Research market study Internet Music Programmers 2016 – 2018: Ad-Supported and Subscription Listening Hours Chart a Monetization Groove, shows subscription revenue grew by 93% and captured 61.9% of market revenue (U.S.) in 2016, while ad billings ramped 19.5%, to $1.7 billion.   

Going forward, advertising and subscription Internet music radio and track play programmers are currently forecast to achieve $5.4 billion in 2017, an 18.2% marketplace increase following the muscular 2016 surge.

According to baseline data contained in this report, each 1,000 hours of listening (RPM) across the spectrum of services online is forecast to clear $100 by YE 2018.  

Catalysts for RPM increases include synchronizing audio CPMs across platforms (desktop, mobile or dedicated connected device), improving audio avail targeting (national and local audience profiling), adtech specialist innovations, upping ad loads per programming hour, and integration with major clearing/serving platforms like Google’s DoubleClick.

In addition, paid subscribers currently standing at 30 million (YE 2016) are spread across an impressive cluster of very polished and library-deep music services that successfully caught the wave of adoption 2012 – 2016, adding paying users at a red hot rate.

The growth in subscriptions coincides with a static to sliding packaged music market (retail), as well as digital download-to-own revenues. The pick-and-play model is a powerful inducement swinging the market toward rental music.   

Ad-supported services generate 61% of total listening hours, and that segment of the marketplace contributed some 38.1% of revenue, expected to rise past 40% in 2018.  

Radio broadcasters are analyzed in listening hours, subscription services in song plays that are converted into total consumption hours for direct comparisons.

Advertising (all format executions, including in-stream audio, video and display) are projected to bill approximately $2.1 billion in 2017

Subscription services (including hybrid ad-supported and subscription operations and SiriusXM online sub revenues) are forecast to deliver $3.3 billion in 2017 receipts.

Revenue projections include domestic services that may also have international operations, (i.e.; Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Viacom’s Rhapsody), plus revenue booked by international brands with significant domestic operations, including global subscription leader Spotify.  

Listening/song-play hours (ad-supported and subscription) increased 9.2% in 2016 to 49.19 billion, or 4.1 billion per month.

That’s an indication the attention ad-supported services are paying to managed listening growth balanced against monetization imperatives and licensing costs.

The CRB rate restructuring improved bottom line performance in 2016, though programmers still face profitability challenges. An estimated 34.8% of revenues went to licensing organizations in the past year, compared to 47.8% in 2015.

Pandora captured an estimated 47.3% of the U.S. market, and Spotify held an 11.5% slice of total listening.

Listening hours delivered by Internet music programmers exhibits a 12-year (2004 – 2016) CAGR of 29.6%. Listening hours through 2018 are currently forecast at a 26.3% CAGR.

This report includes a database of broadcasters and services for full year 2016, listening hours or equivalents for each entrant, comparable historical listening hour statistics, forecasts, advertising inventory by format (audio, video and display inventory), CPMs, a complete anthology of pay music services, subscribers and revenue 2003 – 2016, and combined market forecasts through 2018.

This research can be found here:

AccuStream Research ( produces investment grade industry and trade research bridging digital video, internet music radio, download entertainment, digital video/audio advertising/spend, video and mobile adtech platform revenue and M & A valuations, ecosystem trade surveys and support, CDN and integrated media optimization software, ecosystem integrator services, and conducts AvailPlay audience experience, digital diary and video impression monitoring services on-demand.

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