Is Audio Killing Video Star?


According to a new mid-year report from market monitor BuzzAngle, audio streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music have overtaken YouTube for the first time ever in the first six months of 2016 in the US.

On-demand streams on audio platforms more than doubled in the six months to end of June in the US, by an encouraging 108% year-on-year. In contrast, on-demand music streams on digital video platforms increased by just 23% in the same period.

Is audio now killing the video star?

In total, audio platforms saw 114.23bn streams in the six months (55% of total streaming consumption) with video platforms on 95.17bn (45%). So essentially, more than half of all music streams in the first half of 2016 took place on audio platforms. In 2015, audio platforms held 42%, with video platforms holding 58% and therefore most of the cards.

Of course, this all plays into the ‘value gap’ argument put forward by the industry, proposing thatYouTube’s consumption is growing faster than audio platforms and stealing potential consumers from audio services whilst failing to pay out a fair per-stream rate to rights-holders.

In addition to the value gap, the battle rages on around YouTube and so-called ‘safe harbour’, with 186 artists including , Sir Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift signing a petition calling for change to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the US, as reported previously inThe Gen.

The petition calls for a redrawing of the ‘safe harbor’ protections within the DMCA, which allow platforms such as YouTube to avoid legal liability for copyright infringement.

Overall, US streaming music consumption grew 58% in the six months, according to the report, a trend that the industry will be hoping continues as it seeks to address the value gap.

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