Fascinating Music Industry Stats


Streaming Plays Outnumbered Radio Spins 132 to 1 in 2011

Though radio still figures prominently into breaking and sustaining superstar artists, its monopoly over music delivery is long since over. In 2011, radio spins totaled 158 million. Streaming plays totaled 21 billion, a ratio of 132 to one. The raw numbers are impressive, but, of course, don't paint a complete picture. Still, with streaming on the rise and increasing comfort with the delivery of music through digital means, it seems that the landscape is ripe for a company like Shazam to take the reins from radio once and for all.


  • http://deeepcuts.blogspot.com codine

    Thanks for posting this, found it really interesting.

  • http://lajitstuff.com LaJIT

    amazing. thank you

  • Feelix

    influx in vinyl sails is real encouraging

  • jjdpro

    I think the the bringing back vinyl is ridiculous! Being that, most people
    Do not have a turntable to play the vinyl on…!

    We are in and have been a mp3 / cd/ cassette, and streaming music
    Culture for the last 10 years. The only folks the use turn tables are
    The DJs.. Not even radio stations uses turntables..

    This is an expensive, throw back technology that’s not going to thrive..

  • http://www.radical.fm Thomas McAlevey


    “Though radio still figures prominently into breaking and sustaining superstar artists, its monopoly over music delivery is long since over. In 2011, radio spins totaled 158 million. Streaming plays totaled 21 billion, a ratio of 132 to one”

    Do you believe that 132 times as many streamed songs were heard by people in 2011, as songs heard on the radio?

    A stream goes to one person.
    A ‘spin’ on a radio station goes to that stations entire audience.
    Meaning, if an average radio station had 132 listeners then radio and streaming ‘listens’ (market share) would be equal.
    But some popular networks rate audiences in millions!

    Streaming is gaining ground quickly.
    Still, Pandora (bigger than all other music streaming services combined including Spotify) has only about 6% of the US radio market. Now let’s assume said market includes 50% talk (unlikely, but that would give Pandora a 12% song share), and Spotify et al add another 8% (they don’t, but for argument’s sake that’s a 20% share to music streaming services combined). And let’s not forget YouTube, second after Pandora for songs streamed; stats vary but say another five to ten percent market share. Optimistically speaking then ALL music streaming services combined including video might have a 30% market share.

    Radio has the other 70%.
    Terrestrial radio is more than twice as big as all forms of streaming combined for songs listened to.
    Radio’s advantage is even bigger regarding talk shows.

    Yes, terrestrial radio is dying, and Radical.FM’s TALK function won’t help it… but it’s far from dead yet!
    Make no mistake, ‘old fashioned’ radio is still the biggest supplier of music in the world.

    From the HotSeat,
    Tom McAlevey, CEO, Radical.FM

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  • http://deeepcuts.blogspot.com codine

    ooh zing! you right you right.

    Too bad quantity doesn’t = quality. Take a look at the repetition on ClearChannel stations.

  • http://musikandfilm.com/ Terry Nails

    Revenue from Digital Music Is Projected to Top $8 Billion Globally in 2012.
    “Streaming revenues will increase 40 percent in 2012 – to $1.1 billion – whilst download revenues will increase by 8.5 percent to $3.9 billion… Therefore, streaming services will take over as the leading revenue growth engine for the music industry in 2012, generating an extra $311 million – $8 million more than downloads at $303 million.

    This is so misleading as to be unconscionable. The only ones making money here are the streaming services and not the artists. The take on 5000 downloads at 99 cents is $4950. The take on 5000 streaming tethered downloads is right around $7.50! According to Spotify the biggest of the steaming outlets “This business model is completely unsustainable”. If continued the streaming of tethered in their present form, will completely destroy what little is left of the industry.
    Terry Nails VP Musik and Film

  • cinlay

    @jjdpro, vinyl provides a clear and chrisp sound that is quite differnet from digital sound. A lot of people will collect vinyl, both to have a physical copy of the music they want and because they like the sound of vinyl when compared to digital music. Vinyl will only continue to rise in popuarity as CD’s become more obsoloete.

  • cinlay


  • http://www.danterrymusic.com Dan

    Where can I find this article? It’s not showing up on mobile. Thanks!

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