Music streaming services are making major gains in popularity, and many companies and entrepreneurs are looking to capitalize on this development. In 2015, online music sales brought in $6.7 billion, making gains of more than ten percent and beating out physical sales for the first time. This trend is expected to continue and grow into a behemoth, with subscription based services leading the charge. So far some of the top contenders in the digital music subscription business including Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal.
Spotify is considered a trailblazer in the digital music streaming industry. Currently, the company has nearly 30 million subscribers, a figure which took the company almost a decade to reach. Apple Music, on the other hand, has reached half that figure at 15 million subscribers in only one year alone. Likely due to Apple’s massive reach into the market with its various devices. However, analysts note that only around 2.5 percent of iPhone users currently subscribe to Apple Music, meaning Apple has many more subscribers with the potential to signup for their service.
At the same time, music artists Kanye West, Jay-Z, Beyoncé and many others have grouped together to create and fund Tidal. The music streaming service offered by Tidal is similar to its competitors but offers one distinct advantage. Both Beyoncé and Jay-Z have released albums exclusively on Tidal’s platform. Considering the popularity of both of these artists, the addition of even more artists could add even more subscribers to Tidal’s current 4.2 million. Rumors are now emerging that state Apple is looking to purchase Tidal from its owners. Should Apple be successful in its endeavor, Apple's Music service could replace Spotify at the top spot in a few short years.