Streaming is the future of music. With the Apple — the behemoth of music downloading — finally lumbering into the fray with Apple Music, the question is no longer “if” streaming will dominate, but which streaming service will prevail.
But now Next Big Sound has provided us with some astounding context to streaming’s rise in popularity. In the first six months of 2015, the company, which is now owned by Pandora, tracked over one trillion online plays in total. The exact figure is 1,032,225,905,640 streams.
By way of comparison, people paid for about 531 million downloads in the first six months of the year, according to Nielsen. In other words, people streamed almost 2,000 songs for every one they paid to download.
According to Next Big Sound, those streams spanned YouTube, Vevo (minus overlap), Vimeo, Spotify, Rdio, SoundCloud, and, of course, Pandora. It didn’t even take into account Apple Music, which had no released at the start of the year.
That number is well beyond all the streaming data Next Big Sound tracked for the entirety of last year, even without Pandora’s data (which they only included this year).
The data also exposed SoundCloud’s rapid growth. Next Big Sound observed almost 5 billion plays on the service in May of this year. This is twice the same month last year and five times the year before that.