Battle of the Brands: Streaming Service Showdowns to Expect in 2014

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By Kaitlin Gladney

2014 promises to be a breakout year for streaming services. With digital download sales declining in 2013 for the first time in history, streaming services are in prime position to become the major mode of music consumption. Not only do they offer expansive libraries accessible on a number of devices, but streaming provides music fans with an appealing alternative to purchasing music. For high-volume music consumers, who spend more than $120/year (the average price of a premium subscription) on music purchases, it’s a compelling proposal: for less money, the consumer gets unlimited, ad-free access to 20-30 million songs. It’s also an attractive deal for the causal listener—all the music you could possibly want for just $10/month.

In a market with a fairly standardized product and razor-thin profit margins, the only way to survive is to stand out. Differentiation is critical. In particular, effectively personalizing the platform for the individual consumer and boosting premium subscriber numbers will separate the winners from the losers.

Which streaming service will rule the market? Check out our preview of streaming service showdowns to expect in 2014.

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