Entertainment & Arts

Only 14% of the UK pays to stream music

A computer and some headphones Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Streaming generated almost a quarter of the music industry's revenues in 2015

Only 14% of the British public pays for a music streaming subscription, according to new research.

The report, for trade paper Music Week, also showed that one in 10 people regularly borrowed someone else's subscription.

Reflecting a BBC / ICM poll earlier this year, the survey found that 42% of people who paid to stream music continued to buy it in other formats.

Spotify remained the dominant service, capturing 62% of the market.

Its paid-for subscriptions increased 25% year-on-year, found Kantar Worldpanel Entertainment, which surveyed 15,000 people.

Elsewhere in the report, it was found that 23% of people still bought CDs, but the majority of them (64%) were over 40.

"Shoppers have come back to the CD this year, with almost a quarter of the population buying CD albums," said Fiona Keenan, insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.

"Yet while there are still CD fans who buy frequently, at the other end of the spectrum is the type of consumer that's only drawn to the biggest releases.

"Thirty-six percent of those who bought Adele's 25 on CD in its first month of release hadn't bought a single physical album in the year prior."

According to the BPI, 53.7 billion songs were streamed in the UK last year - a figure which represents almost 2,000 songs played in each of the UK's 27 million households.

Streaming accounted for 23.7% of music industry revenues - about £251 million. However, this figure also includes money generated by ad-funded sites such as YouTube, Daily Motion and Spotify's free tier.

Many in the music industry believe the uptake of subscription services is being throttled by the availability of "free" streaming.

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