Music Streaming Business Booming in Britain

Music streaming has skyrocketed in the UK in recent months according to a report published Friday by The Guardian. According to the report, a total of 11.5 billion songs have been streamed through the first six months in the UK, nearly matching the 14.8 billion streams logged by Brits in all of 2014. The pickup can be partially attributed to recent changes in the music streaming landscape, as the relaunch of Jay Z’s Tidal and the Apple Music launch have provided alternatives to the industry leader, Spotify.

What is not clear, according the the Guardian’s report, is whether the increase in streaming is converting to increased revenues for the artists who create that music. Since the report did not note the change to artist royalty payouts, it could be that the majority of the increased streaming business is via free accounts. The report also showed that YouTube music streams have increased 98 percent year-over-year, which alarms some in the industry because YouTube pays out lower royalty rates than other services.

According to the Guardian’s report, the most-streamed song of 2015 so far is “Uptown Funk”, by Mark Ronson, with 45 million individual streams.