Streaming Music Numbers
The streaming firm clocked 40 million ‘Premium’ subscribers in September 2016, having hit the 30 million mark in March, so the growth rate has continued to be fairly consistent. Aside from its $9.99 paid plan, Spotify also offers a more limited free option that it monetizes via ads. Back in June last year, the company disclosed that it had reached 100 million registered users — including paying and non-paying users — but we haven’t had a newer figure since then.
There’s plenty of competition in the market, and Spotify’s nearest rival is Apple Music, which reached the 20 million paid user mark in December. Tidal, the service owned by rapper (and soon-to-be-VC) Jay-Z, reached three million last March which was its last update.
These numbers made me think of the famous quote that “a rising tide lifts all boats”. The only difference being that in this case it might be only two boats. Since Apple Music has launched Spotify has done more than hold its own. While there are other players out there like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Tidal it does seem that it’s a two horse race right now. Has Spotify become the go to for Android? The irony is that Google has by far the best deal out there right now as you get Google Play Music with a YouTube Red subscription for the same monthly price as the others. The libraries are all pretty similar as of now, so it should not be hard for people to jump around.
Spotify yesterday also announced they will be adding a lossless audio plan similar to what Tidal offers. This is interesting, and I still think Apple will add something like this with the purchase of Tidal. It seems Tidal was created as something to be purchased.
The Battle For the Classroom
Of the 12.6 million mobile devices shipped to primary and secondary schools in the United States in 2016, Chromebooks accounted for 58 percent of the market, up from 50 percent in 2015, according to the report. School shipments of iPads and Mac laptops fell to 19 percent, from about 25 percent, over the same period. Microsoft Windows laptops and tablets remained relatively stable at about 22 percent, Futuresource said.
The next generation is being taught that the default is Google. It’s pretty incredible that an OS that is just a few years old is getting close to a 60% market share in the US. Now with new Chromebooks running Android apps it will be interesting to see if they can start to grow in any meaningful way outside of the education market. They are offering something today that Microsoft is trying to promise in the future.